+1443 776-2705 panelessays@gmail.com


Dr. Carlos submitted a proposal to conduct an alcohol tolerance study with mice. He will have to inject mice with alcohol and then test them. Dr. Carlos has decided to euthanize the mice at the end of the study. He also wishes someone to volunteer the use of their pet for this research in return for some monetary compensation. Discuss:

  • What ethical and safety issues might arise when conducting such a study? What do you think the institutional review board at Dr. Carlos’ university will be most concerned about? Explain at least three areas of concern and why the reviewers might be concerned about the stated issues.
  • It is common for participants to be compensated for their participation in research. Do you think this influences their behaviors or responses? Use the University Online Library to investigate whether there is evidence regarding the influence of compensation on participants’ participation. Find two articles and submit summaries of each of them.
  • Participants should be told they have a right to stop their participation in a study at any point in the study. Do you agree or disagree on whether this should be done or not? Why? Do you think they should still be able to receive the promised monetary compensation if they leave early?
  • Using the  University Online Library, research two examples of historical situations in which participants were not told that they had the right to stop their participation at any point. Use at least three references for each.

Historical Perspectives on Pentecostal
Missionaries in Situations
of Conflict and Violence


Early Pentecostal missions in this century resonated with the belief that the
signs and wonders of the apostolic age had been restored for the evangelization
of the world before the imminent return of Christ. By mid-century, permanent
overseas ministries were beginning to flourish. To maintain freedom for ministry,
Pentecostal missionaries have usually avoided taking sides on political social
and economic issues. Even though preaching the gospel has sometimes
jeopardized their safety, identification with Western powers frequently accounts
for the turbulence they have experienced. Following an apolitical course has
generally paid dividends, but in some circumstances only at the risk of creating
a fundamental contradiction to the gospel itself.

The songs of the Pentecostal Movement early in this century resonate with the fervor of evangelizing the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.1 Since the spiritual dynamics behind the growth of the
New Testament church were believed to have been divinely restored “in the
last days,” as predicted by the prophet Joel (2:28-29; Acts 2:14-21),2 D. Wesley
Myland (a well-known leader in the Christian and Missionary Alliance
[CMA] who became a Pentecostal) penned “The Latter Rain” song, soon a
favorite of the burgeoning movement. After each verse, Pentecostals enthu-
siastically sang the words of the chorus:

Oh, I’m glad the promised Pentecost has come,
And the “Latter Rain” is falling now on some;
Pour it out in floods, Lord, on the parched ground,
Till it reaches all the earth around.
(Myland 1906:16)

Gary B. McGee, Ph.D., is Professor of Church History at the Assemblies of God
Theological Seminary, Springfield, Missouri. He authored the two-volume This Gospel
Shall Be Preached (1986,1989), a history and theology of Assemblies of God foreign
missions; and co-edited the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (1988).
His ministry abroad has focused on short-term mission assignments in Belgium,
Yugoslavia, India, and Singapore.

Missiology: An International Review, Vol. XX, No. 1, January 1992

34 Gary B. McGee

Aimee Semple McPherson, foundress of the International Church of the
Foursquare Gospel, wrote many songs as well.3 One of her best known was
“Preach the Word,” requiring ten bars of notation in the Foursquare Hymnal.
Marked “Con spirito” and reminiscent of band music at football games, it
challenged church members to look beyond their local context and contem-
plate the global mission of the Spirit-filled church (verse 1, chorus):

Hold the Foursquare Fortress firm,
Tis the testing day.
The enemy on ev’ry hand
Presseth hard the fray.
Lift the blood-stained banner high.
It must not touch the ground.
Preach the Foursquare Gospel with a certain sound!
On every hand, Throughout the land,
The enemy is stirred. But on we go
Despite the foe, Till ev’ry man has heard.
Preach the word, Preach the word,
Till the nations all have heard,
Preach it here, Preach it there,
Till every land is stirred.
Preach the word, Preach the word,
Marching up the Foursquare way.
Well hold the Foursquare Fortress
Till the crowning day.
(McPherson 1940:241)

In spite of the trumpeting of renewed power for world evangelization,
the zero-hour eschatology of Pentecostalism left little time to carry out the
great commission. Belief in the imminent return of Christ, shared by many
evangelicals as well, pervaded the movement Every energy needed to be
directed toward fulfilling Christ’s command in Matthew 28:18-20. Reflecting
on the nearness of the second coming, one songwriter warbled: “When you
see Jesus coming in the sky, Good-bye, hallelujah! I’m gone” (Sowders ca.
1932:186). Not surprisingly, Pentecostalism sparked a vigorous new mission-
ary diaspora beginning in 1906, the vanguard of a worldwide revival of
primitive Christianity that would one day challenge the historic churches to
consider anew the role of the Holy Spirit in fulfilling the mission of the

From the triumphant medley of Christian conquest came a dissonant
sound, however, when the Lord did not return according to the timetable,
and problems overseas proved more forbidding and perilous than expected.
Some missionaries died from diseases on foreign fields (at least one a year
for the first 25 years of the endeavor in Liberia!), while others returned home
disillusioned by the difficulties (McGee 1983:6-7). Those who stayed often
suffered hardships, their activities frequently circumscribed by inadequate
resources. Worse yet, a few experienced beatings, tortures, and even death
at the hands of opponents.

The paths of Pentecostal mission history are strewn with the accolades

Historical Perspectives on Pentecostal Missionaries 35

of hagiography. This paper, however, represents a new attempt to explore
such happenings and interpret their meaning for today’s missionaries and
students of mission history. Why did they become victims of violence? What
can we learn from these happenings? Due to limitations of resources, I will
focus on the experiences of North American and a few European Pentecostal
missionaries, without in any way intending to deprecate similar stories of
missionaries from other regions of the world.

Conflict, Suffering, and Death
Pentecostal missionaries have been physically assaulted or slain in a

variety of circumstances. The first to give his life in the cause of evangelism
was probably Paul Bettex, an independent missionary to China early in this
century. While the details surrounding his murder in 1916 are sketchy, he
may have been robbed or simply been a victim of anti-foreign sentiments
raging at the time (Frodsham n.d.).

In the 1930s, local tribes people attempted to poison Swedish Pentecostal
missionaries in the Belgian Congo (Zaire) and Tanganyika (Tanzania),
believing the latter had come to kill them (Sahlberg 1985:62, 64). Farther
north, the famed Lillian Trasher (Assemblies of God [AG]) dodged bullets
to save two toddlers at her orphanage in Assiout, Egypt, having been caught
in a crossfire between Egyptian and British troops (Howell 1960:143-145).

Trouble also encountered the young missionary William Ekvall Simp-
son (AG) in 1932 in southwestern China. Hauling supplies for his mission
station at Labran, Tibet, Simpson, the son of pioneer CMA missionaries to
China, was killed by bandits (Booze 1990:21-28). Despite the fact that
differences of opinion over the baptism in the Holy Spirit had earlier split
the CMA work in China, members of both groups gathered to mourn his
loss with Alliance missionaries conducting the funeral. Other missionaries,
such as the J. Elmore Morrisons (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada), faced
the threat of violence in 1939 after the Japanese invaded China (Kulbeck

Farther to the West, the Russian-American Ivan E. Voronaev (Russian
and Eastern European Mission [REEM]) returned to his homeland from
New York City to preach the Pentecostal message. Beginning in Bulgaria
and then in Russia, he met with considerable success during the years when
Lenin ruled the Soviet Union and allowed tolerance for the sects. During
Stalin’s reign of terror, Voronaev was arrested and died in a Siberian labor
camp. The laige Pentecostal movement in that country owes a substantial
debt to his labors (DurasofF 1972:220-224, 230).

Nazis also severely persecuted Pentecostals (Jenney 1980). Herman
Lauster (Church of God [Cleveland, TN]) was imprisoned in Germany by
the Gestapo and later forcibly drafted into the German army (Lauster
1967:48-63). But in a narrow escape from the Gestapo, G. Herbert Schmidt
(AG and REEM), a founder of the influential Danzig Institute of the Bible
(Salzer 1988), smuggled on board a merchant ship leaving for Sweden
(Schmidt 1945:178-184). Only after the close of the war was he reunited with
his daughters who had been left behind (his wife did not survive the war).

36 Gary Β. McGee

In marked contrast, however, German troops rescued Alphonse
Mittelstaedt, another American missionary, from his Polish neighbors who
were plotting to lynch him (simply for having a German name!). The legacy
of the Bible school in Danzig, staffed by persons such as Schmidt, Nikolas
Nikoloff, Donald Gee, and others, lived on through the Eastern European
and Russian students who received training there, including Oskar Jeske
(Poland), Haralan Popov (Bulgaria), and John Vinnichek (Poland, Argen­
tina) (Salzer 1988-1989).

Pentecostal missionaries suffered most in the Far East during the war
with several of their number interned by the Japanese (Warner 1985a; 1985b).
Avoiding imprisonment, Warren Anderson (Open Bible Standard Churches)
fled by foot from the advancing Japanese along the Burma Trail (Mitchell
1982:108). The W. H. Turners (Pentecostal Holiness Church) were not so
fortunate, spending two years in prison before repatriation (Campbell
1951:353-354). Alan Benson, a missionary to China (Assemblies of God of
Great Britain and Ireland), was brutally tortured in a prolonged and
unsuccessful effort to gain a confession of spying. Undaunted in his faith
and Christian witness, he later recounted how he prayed for his captors:

Once the police required of me that if I was a real Missionary and not a
spy, then I must pray in their presence— I fell to my knees and offered up a
prayer for the salvation of their souls. In my prayer I mentioned the fact that
they were sinners and needed their sins forgiven, and asked the Lord to bring
them to a condition of heart in which they would be able to repent of their
sins and turn unto the Lord Jesus for cleansing. (Benson n.d.:7)

During these troubled times in North China, Benson recounted that a
Methodist missionary (Horace Williams) gathered well over 100 missionaries
from 15 different mission agencies together for prayer. There, in the midst
of conflict and suffering, a remarkable spiritual renewal came as Pen-
tecostals, Methodists, Brethren, and others put their differences aside and
found common ground (Benson 1953:11).

The atrocities of internship were vividly retold by Leland E. Johnson
(AG) in his book / Was a Prisoner of the Japs (ca. 1946). Nevertheless, the
story of Jesse Wengler (Letters from Japan [ca. 1951]), under house arrest
during the war in Japan, offers a more humane picture of the Japanese, while
graphically portraying the devastating horrors of American bombing. In
another noteworthy twist, members of the Juergensen family (missionaries
to Japan since 1913) ministered at internment camps for Japanese-Ameri­
cans—Minidoka Relocation Center near Twin Falls, Idaho, and the Topaz
Relocation Center in Utah—while at home in America during the war, a
noble witness to the integrity of their calling (Juergensen 1985).

By mid-century, as larger numbers of Pentecostals ministered abroad,
the romanticized missionary songs of the earlier generation gave place to
more restrained lyrics of commitment to Christ and reflections on the
unreached millions who had not yet heard the gospel message. Melvin L.
Hodges, the dean of Pentecostal missiologists, wrote “Harvest Is Passing”

Historical Perspectives on Pentecostal Missionaries 37

(1940), sung to a Central American tune (verse 1 and chorus):

Millions are living in night’s dense darkness,
No light to cheer them, no hope nor gladness,
Bowed down and burdened, with none to save,
And death awaits them beyond the grave.

Harvest is passing, Night draweth nigh,
Millions are dying, Oh, hear their cry!
Then haste, my brother, Their souls to save,
Christ to redeem them, His life-blood gave.
(Hodges 1957:147)

Written while serving as a missionary in predominantly Catholic Central
America, over 30 years passed before Hodges (as well as other Pentecostals
and evangelicals) would begin to reconsider his anti-Catholic posture.4

Oren Munger, an AG missionary to Nicaragua who later died from a
fever, wrote the music for “The Vision” (1950) by H. C. McKinney, a
thoughtful song that has stirred thousands of Pentecostals to dedicate their
lives to missions (verse 3, chorus):

Ev’ry dream and ev’ry burning longing,
I surrender to their [the heathen’s] crying need;
I am leaving ev’ry hope behind me,
To follow anywhere my Lord may lead.

Take me, Master, break me, use me,
I am leaning on Thy breast,
All ambitions fast are dying,
From their pain now give me rest;
On the altar I have lain them,
Now to Thee I give my heart,
Fill me with the fire of vision,
Let my passion ne’er depart.
(McKinney 1957:265)

Both songs indicate that fidelity to the original ethos behind Pentecostal
missions had remained (saving the lost from eternal destruction), despite the
awkward delay in the Lord’s return.

The years after World War II proved difficult as well in certain parts of
the world. Persecution of Protestants had existed both before and after the
war in Latin America. Caught between rebel and government forces in El
Salvador, indigenous church pioneer Ralph D. Williams (AG) narrowly
escaped with his life (Booze 1990:118-119). Floyd Woodworth (AG), director
of a Bible school in Cuba, was jailed by Fidel Castro’s army, anticipating
execution by firing squad; fortunately he was released in an unusual set of
circumstances. Farther south, Colombia became well-known for animosity
toward Protestants, especially during the “reign of terror” (1946-1956), with
hostilities and reports of stonings remaining long after. In 1950, missionary

38 Gary Β. McGee

Oscar Smith (International Pentecostal Assemblies) was forced from his
home, shot in the back, and his house was burned to the ground by three
assailants (Open Bible: 1951:8-9).

The independence of the Congo (Zaire) in 1960, however, triggered
worldwide attention with its revolution, atrocities, and hostilities toward
foreigners. Both Protestants and Catholics suffered. Several Pentecostals
were slain by rebels, including missionaries Elton Knauf and Edmund
“Teddy” Hodgson who were killed with machetes (Zaire Evangelistic Mis­
sion [Great Britain]) (Whittaker 1983:205-208).

The Assemblies of God mourned the loss of J. W. Tucker, a veteran
missionary who returned to the Congo after the uprising had begun, aware
of the risk involved for him and his family. After weeks of house arrest with
his wife, Angeline, and their three children, Tucker was finally taken into
custody and held with other hostages in a Catholic mission in the city of
Paulis. Fearing an attack by American and Belgian paratroopers, the rebels
hardened their attitudes toward the hostages. Angeline Tucker received the
news of her husband’s death when she called the mission and inquired about
his welfare: “The Mother Superior, I suppose it was, said, ‘Well, things are
going along.’ I said, ‘How is my husband?’ She answered in French, ‘He is
in heaven’ ” (Tucker 1965:8). He had been clubbed to death and his body
later thrown into the crocodile-infested Bomokandi River, 50 miles away in
the region of Nganga. His wife and children, along with other missionaries,
were rescued shortly after in a combined Belgian and American rescue
operation. Ironically, though his widow took the nun’s words for the title of
her husband’s biography, He Is in Heaven (1965), she doubted the salvation
of the Catholic sisters in an article in the Pentecostal Evangel, the official
publication of the Assemblies of God (Tucker 1965:10).

A later Assemblies of God missionary to Zaire, Derrill Sturgeon, reported
the spiritual fallout. Accordingly, a convert of Tucker’s told members of the
Mangbetu tribe of Nganga (a people unresponsive to the gospel) that the
missionary “had been thrown into ‘their’ river” and his “blood had flowed
through ‘their’ waters.” Stung by the significance of this happening,

the Holy Spirit used this belief in the Mangbetu culture which considers the
land and rivers where they live to be theirs personally. Now they must listen
to the message of the one who had been thrown into their water. This proved
to be the key to their hearts— A great revival began as thousands were saved,
hundreds were healed, and some were even raised from the dead. (Sturgeon

In regard to the tragic loss of J. W. Tucker (and in view of the successful
evangelism and church growth that followed), Sturgeon (1986:11) remarked:
“A waste? Hardly! Commitment may appear to have a high price tag, but
only eternity will tell the rest of the story.”

A more recent tragedy occurred in Zimbabwe in June 1978 when eight
missionaries and four children associated with the Elim Pentecostal Church
(Great Britain) were bludgeoned to death by guerillas. Widespread political

Historical Perspectives on Pentecostal Missionaries 39

upheaval at the time led to thousands of deaths in the country, motivated
in part by dislike of the white minority government The Elim missionaries
died because of animosity toward whites, but also for their Christian witness
(Brother Andrew 1979:45).

Causes and Contradictions
Several reasons explain the violence which these missionaries experi-

enced. First, some simply became the victims of anti-foreign sentiments in
the countries where they ministered. Identification with Western colonial
powers not only jeopardized the safety of colonial administrators, soldiers,
and merchants, but missionaries as well. Pentecostals, like their Protestant
and Roman Catholic counterparts, could not avoid the dangers of internal
unrest and revolution and remain at work in their chosen vocations.

Second, the tragedy of war and its attending evils occasionally led to
dislocation, torture, imprisonment, starvation, or even death for those who
could not escape from the scene of action. And third, for Pentecostals and
other Protestants, service in Roman Catholic countries entailed serious risks,
denoting the intense and historic divisions within Christendom.

In reviewing their stories, curious and sometimes important contradic-
tions emerge, not usually in the accuracy of the accounts, but in the larger
meaning of events. While some missionaries experienced the inhumanity of
the Germans and the Japanese during World War II, a few received
benevolent treatment, a sober reminder that the harsh rhetoric of wartime
propaganda did not accurately portray the character of an entire nation or
all of its cultural values. Some even ministered to Japanese-Americans in
concentration camps in the United States when identification with them was
unpopular and risky. Missionaries who disagreed with others over doctrinal
teachings put them aside in times of personal tragedy or when facing a
common enemy. Rarely, however, did the hostile feelings of Pentecostals
toward Roman Catholics subside; fortunately, these have been tempered in
the last 25 years, partially through changes originating with Vatican II and
the advent of the Catholic charismatic renewal.

In certain circumstances, the sufferings of missionaries resulted in
significant church growth, but not uniformly so. There is no available
evidence to suggest that spiritual advance followed in every circumstance
where Pentecostal missionaries experienced violence or death. From a
historical standpoint, Tertulliano remark that “the blood of the martyrs is
the seed of the church” is a half-truth at best

Finally, it should be noted that only in a few of these instances did
missionaries face hostilities as a direct result of preaching the gospel. Their
mere presence in some countries exposed them to the dangers of political
upheavals, a fate shared by other foreigners as well. Even with the risks
involved, the missionaries perceived themselves as ambassadors for Christ
entrusted with the gospel message: “All this is from God, who reconciled us
to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins
against them (2 Corinthians 5:18-19a). Whatever circumstances befell them

40 Gary Β. McGee

were immediately interpreted as advancing or hindering the work of the
Lord, with the latter potentially representing the activities of Satan. After all,
the apostle Paul had warned, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark
world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”
(Ephesians 6:12).

One implication from this study becomes abundantly clear: Pentecostal

missionaries have not been beaten, tortured, or murdered for championing
social or political causes. Imprisonment did not result from marching in the
streets to protest violations of human rights, injustice, or economic exploi­
tation. Their belief in the imminent return of Christ has mandated that gospel
proclamation receive top priority. For this reason, they assume that an
apolitical course promises the surest means to that end.

Notwithstanding, this posture has not meant that Pentecostals have been
uncaring; their charitable ministries (orphanages, schools, feeding programs,
and medical programs) provide testimony to their compassion. In an article
entitled “Out to Change the World?” Norm Correli, an Assemblies of God
missions executive, remarked:

We are a Movement of people—people deeply concerned about the sufferings
of others and deeply moved by the injustices inflicted upon them by inhumane
governments, austere societies, or legalistic religious institutions.

… So if the Spirit of… God rests upon a man today or upon a Movement,
then that man or that Movement will also be equally inclined toward social
and political righteousness. Indeed the people of God should always be angered
when they see innocent people abused, neglected, or mistreated. (Correli

Thus, Pentecostals are not “neutral” toward the deprivations of others, but
apolitical while living overseas. Missionaries and sending agencies hope that
the winds of change will not upset their activities in evangelism and church
planting while they “sit on the fence” politically.

To date, the work of most Pentecostal missionaries has benefitted from
this approach, although those cited earlier were caught up in the whirlwind
of contemporary events. One can only speculate at what point this avoidance
of political involvement may create a contradiction to the gospel message
itself (e.g., until recently, influential segments of the Apostolic Faith Mission
of South Africa, a largely white Pentecostal denomination and missionary
sending agency, strongly supported official governmental policies on race).


Furthermore, will this predilection inadvertently lead to forfeiture of vital
opportunities to influence national mission churches on matters of social,
political, and economic conscience as they relate to Christian values?

With the passage of time, the “Good-bye, hallelujah! I’m gone” mentality
has fallen prey to the declining eschatological expectancy in Pentecostal
ranks. Nonetheless, fervent concern to evangelize before the closure of

Historical Perspectives on Pentecostal Missionaries 41

human history, motivated by love for Christ and obedience to the great
commission, still remains at the heart of the movement The challenge of
communicating the gospel to the unreached millions still enlists a steady
number of missionary candidates. At the 1968 Council on Evangelism, a
special gathering called to address the world mission of the Assemblies of
God, a new song was introduced entitled “Our Mission.” Yet today its lyrics
reflect the heartbeat of the largest sector of classical Pentecostalism. Verse
four and the chorus read:

Christ only is our message; He died, He lives again.
Ascended, soon returning, To rule the hearts of men.
Constrained by love eternal, Can we whose hearts are stirred,
Endued with mighty power, Withhold the Living Word?

Til the world shall hear.
Bound in sin and fear.
Our mission never ending,
Til the world shall hear.
(Zilch 1969:267-268)

Most Pentecostal missionaries, both past and present, including those who
have suffered and those who have not, would probably join in the singing
and clap their hands.

l.This study is dedicated to the memory of the late Morris O. Williams

(1920-1991), an Assemblies of God missionary, field director for Africa, missiologist,
and mentor. His passionate belief in indigenous church principles and the distribu-
tion of the Spirit’s gifts in the universal church led him to champion the concept of
partnership in mission between the sending agency and the national mission
churches. He died on 8 June 1991, shortly before he was scheduled to preach a sermon
on heaven.

2. All Bible quotations are taken from the New International Version (NIV).
3. The “Foursquare Gospel” refers to salvation, baptism in the Holy Spirit, divine

healing, and the second coming of Christ, considered to be the four pillars of
Pentecostal teaching. This formulation has been more widely known as the “full
gospel,” tracing its origin to the Holiness Movement For more information, see
Donald W. Dayton, (1987).

4. The cautious change in attitude toward Roman Catholics by Melvin L. Hodges,
as evidenced in his A Theology of the Church audits Mission (1977), occurred after the
emergence of the Catholic charismatic renewal, more positive assessments by
evangelicals, and Hodges’ own participation in the local Assemblies of God/Roman
Catholic Dialogue conducted in Springfield, Missouri.

5. For more information, see F. P. Möller, (n.d.); cf., A Relevant Pentecostal Witness
(1988); Frank Chikane, (1988).

References Cited
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Booze, Joyce Wells, ed.
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Brother Andrew

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Campbell, Joseph E.
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1983 Seven Pentecostal Pioneers. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House.
Zilch, Margot

1969 “Our Mission.” In Hymns of Glorious Praise. Pp. 267-268. Springfield, MO:
Gospel Publishing House.

^ s

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Latin Amenca
Three Responses to a New Historìcal Situation


Professor of Ecumenics Emerìtus
Princeton Theological Seminary

As poor people in Latin America rapidly emerge
as a new social class, they are creating a new
situation that calls for the church to become
a “church of the poor.”

L ATIN AMERICAN PEOPLE and nations are living through very troubled times, as one attempt after another to achieve Western style economic
development and establish democratic institutions has failed. In societies
with tremendous concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of a very
small elite, the poor majority become more impoverished every year, while
those in power tend to rely on repression to maintain the status quo.

Still, in the midst of all this, an increasing number of poor women and
men are becoming acutely aware of what is happening to them as well as what
is causing their suffering. They are coming to a new sense of their worth as
human beings, developing a new personal identity, and realizing that only
they can change their situation. As they come together in a variety of popular
movements and learn to work together to transform their world, they are
emerging as “the new historical subject.” Those who once were passive
objects, acted upon by history, are now becoming active agents. Constituting
a new social class, they are beginning to articulate a vision of a new society
that goes beyond both the Western capitalist and the Marxist models, and are
laying the foundation for it by the initiatives they are taking in economic and
political reconstruction at the local level.

These factors combine to create a new historical situation, in which the
church is called to become a “church of the poor,” proclaiming good news


capable of sustaining and transforming the lives of the poor, and standing
in solidarity with them in their struggle. Here I want to examine briefly three
responses, on the part of both Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches, to
this challenge.



During the latter half of the nineteenth century, missionaries sent to
Latin America by mainline Protestant churches in the United States found
a great deal of interest in their preaching and teaching as well as in their
educational and social work. A new social class was emerging, made up of
those who were eager to liberate themselves from the limitations of a static
and closed society sustained by the Roman Catholic Church, to create
democratic institutions, and to explore new possibilities for economic
development. Many within this social class were searching for a spiritual
foundation for their lives and struggle that they had not found either in
Catholicism or in the new liberal political ideologies.

For a significant number of these men and women, Protestant preach-
ing, together with the study of the Bible, had strong appeal. This reinterpre-
tation of Christianity provided them with a new perspective on what was
happening around them and seemed to support, rather than condemn,
their new aspirations. It offered them a more intimate experience of God in
a dynamic community of faith, which made it possible for them to reorganize
their lives around a new center and experience a profound moral transfor-
mation. And, as Jean-Pierre Bastian has pointed out, Protestant preaching
offered a new road to salvation for those who could no longer conform to
the status quo.1 It gave a voice to those who had no voice and provided a new
conception of the relation between individual and society. Those who
participated in a new community of faith were transformed into “individu-
als,” members of a society of equals. The social rupture produced by
conversion carried with it a vision of a new society and motivated participa-
tion in struggles for social transformation by agents of a new democratic

As they succeeded in responding to the needs of those seeking a new
spiritual and moral foundation for their lives, Presbyterian, Methodist, and
Baptist churches grew rapidly during the first half of this century and seemed
well on the way to becoming a dynamic force in Latin American societies.
During the late forties and early fifties, what stood out was the vitality of these

1 See his Breve historia del protestantismo en América Latina (México Casa Unida de
Publicaciones, 1986) and Los Disidentes sociedades protestantes y revolución en México, 1872-1911
(México Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989)


Latin America

Protestant congregations and the enthusiasm of their members for evange-
lism and for the vocational interests and social concerns of a new generation.

Now, thirty years later, the picture has changed dramatically. Mainline
Protestant churches have become an increasingly important factor in the
lives of people and in society all across Latin America, but they are no longer
in the forefront. In fact, in a recent study of Protestant growth in Latin
America, David Stoll, a North American anthropologist, hardly mentions
them. His book Is Latin America Turning Protestant? focuses on those to whom
he refers as evangelicals, primarily Pentecostals.2

What has happened in this short period? These Protestant churches,
which responded so well to the aspirations of an emerging social class in one
historical situation, became so identified with that class that they were
incapable of responding to the new situation created by the rise of another
class. There are, of course, many poor men and woman in these churches,
and many missions in poor urban and rural neighborhoods. But mainline
Protestantism has not been able to become a church of the poor, where the
poor feel completely at home. When the poor enter a Presbyterian or
Methodist church, they quickly realize that the way people dress and relate
to one another, as well as the language and forms of worship that those in
charge use, are quite foreign to them. Churches whose doctrines, system of
values, and general religious outlook were largely transplanted from North
America—with the consequence that they have been slow in sinking deep
roots in Latin American culture—are not committed to making the radical
changes demanded of them if the gospel is to become incarnate in the world
of the poor. Some poor persons join these churches, but in doing so, they
run the risk of alienating themselves from the culture and the religious
world-view of their neighbors.

Pastor-centered churches tend to offer little room to laypersons, espe-
cially those who are poor or have little formal education, for full participa-
tion in worship, evangelism, teaching, and preaching. Many young men and
women from the poorer classes feel themselves called to the ministry.
Usually, however, they are required to leave their communities and spend
several years in theological seminaries. Here they come to think of the
ministry as a middle class profession, providing them with a certain status
and economic position in society. Then, too, the growth of pastor-centered
churches is limited by the need to erect a certain type of church building and
to support the aspirations of their pastors. The result is that these churches,
while they may place a great deal of emphasis on evangelism, nonetheless
have difficulty growing rapidly among the poor. In addition, the life style
encouraged by their religious and moral ethos leads pastors as well as lay-

2. Is Latin America Turning Protestant? (Berkeley/Los Angeles/Oxford: University of
California Press, 1990).


persons to be more interested in upward mobility and professional advance-
ment than in making the sacrifices necessary to enter into the world of the
poor and reinvent the church there.

Many pastors and laypersons in such mainline Protestant churches are
not only aware of this crisis but are seeking to respond to it by moving closer
to the poor, standing in solidarity with them in their struggles, and striving
for theological and spiritual renewal. In some denominations, indigenous
people are making important changes; and new ecumenical developments
are creating closer ties between Protestants in these older churches and the
new Evangelicals. But unless these developments bring about a radical
transformation in these Protestant churches oriented toward the United
States, their position will become ever more precarious and more marginal
in the years ahead.


In the early seventies, a significant number of priests and nuns decided
to move closer to the poor. By so doing, they successsfully set in motion a
process that has led to the creation of a new model of church, the Christian
Base Communities.

Those who took this early step established a new pattern of missionary
service, in which teams of women and men went to live in poor neighbor-
hoods. These teams found ways to support themselves as they associated with
grassroots movements and worked toward the formation and development
of these base communities. This example set by priests and nuns has often
been followed by doctors, teachers, social workers, and other young
professionals. Frequently, members of the CBCs have risen to positions of
leadership and have continued the ministry originally carried out by clergy
and laypersons from the outside. By virtue of all these efforts, conditions
have been created for the establishment of dynamic, self-supporting,
ecclesial communities and for their spontaneous growth among the poorest
of people.

This new model of church that is emerging has several distinctive

( 1 ) In the CBCs, poor people come together to worship God and listen
to God’s word where they live their daily lives. There they experience the
presence and power of God as they struggle with their most immediate
problems and sufferings: how to get enough food to eat; how to deal with
drunkenness or the abuse of women and children in the family; how to

3. Here, due to limitations of space, I can refer only briefly to each of these factors. For
a more thorough analysis, see my ‘ T h e Christian Base Communities and the Ecclesia
Reformata Semper Reformanda,” The Princeton Seminary BulletinXll, 2 (New Series 1991) 2 0 1 –


Latin America

improve the health of their children; how to deal with violence and

These weekly meetings usually begin with conversation about what has
been happening in the people’s lives, then move to Bible study and prayer,
and end with decisions about actions to be taken in response to God’s call.
The study of the Bible occupies the central place as the poor discover that,
through it, God addresses their concrete situation. In the words of a leader
of a CBC in Sao Paulo, Brazil, “a base ecclesial community is a group of
people who reflect on the Word of God as a family. They discover together
the needs of their street, their neighborhood, and their people, and use the
Word of God as a mirror in which to see their situation.”

As the poor get a new sense of their worth before God and thus forge
a new self-identity, they experience God’s grace and transforming power as
real and concrete. Their family life is transformed, and those who have
practically nothing learn both to share the little they have and to work
together to analyze and solve some of their most urgent problems. Living in
such closeness to God, they look to the future with hope, find peace and even
joy in the midst of their sufferings, often undertake impossible tasks, and face
persecution and threats of death without fear.

(2) As the poor have been encouraged not only to read and study the
Bible together but also to value and draw on their own religious language
and beliefs, they are learning to articulate their own faith and speak their
own word. In reading the Bible without someone else telling them what it
says, the poor discover that the people figuring in the biblical story are
people like themselves: poor and oppressed women, fisherpersons and
peasants, people living in exile, lepers and other outcasts. The poor come to
see that the biblical story is their story and that the struggle described there
is their struggle. And before long, they realize that they can understand its
message, articulate it in language that makes sense to them, and hence draw
on it in their daily life as they never dreamed of doing before.

Moreover, as poor and marginal people demonstrate their capacity to
understand and articulate the biblical message, those helping them are
compelled to pay much more attention to the religious ideas, symbols, and
festivals of the people. These helpers soon realize that this popular religion,
while it may contain a great deal of superstition and elements taken from
non-Christian sources, nevertheless expresses a vital faith and enables many
people to organize their lives and find meaning in their suffering.

These helpers of the poor furthermore perceive that when they respect
the faith and culture of the people and assist them in establishing a direct
dialogue between their faith heritage and the Bible, the biblical story
enriches and transforms their symbolic world. This, in turn, sets in motion
a creative process by means of which the people are able to build on what
they already have, rework it in the light of biblical faith, and gain increasing


c o n f i d e n c e in t h e i r own ability to t h i n k theologically. T h e results of this can
b e s e e n in n e w confessions of faith, songs a n d h y m n s , as well as n e w liturgies
a n d masses, all of w h i c h e x p r e s s t h e faith t h a t n a m e s a n d g u i d e s t h e religious
e x p e r i e n c e of p e a s a n t s , u r b a n p o o r , a n d i n d i g e n o u s p e o p l e .

(3) I n t h e CBCs, t h o s e w h o have b e e n c o m p l e t e l y m a r g i n a l i z e d a r e
b e g i n n i n g to live a n e w quality of life in c o m m u n i t y . As t h e Holy Spirit moves
in t h e i r midst, they find themselves called to s h a r e t h e i r m a t e r i a l possessions,
as d i d t h e early Christians o n t h e day of P e n t e c o s t . A w o m a n with o n e kilo
of rice may give half of it to a m o t h e r w h o s e c h i l d r e n have n o t h i n g to eat.
S l u m dwellers living in a o n e – r o o m shack may w e l c o m e a h o m e l e s s family
i n t o t h e i r h u m b l e a b o d e . Salvadoran refugees r e t u r n i n g to t h e i r c o u n t r y
after years in exile first b u i l d h o m e s for widows with small c h i l d r e n , for t h e
sick a n d t h e disabled, a n d s h a r e with all o n t h e basis of n e e d t h e food they
p r o d u c e . As t h e t r a d i t i o n a l p a t t e r n s of t h e e x t e n d e d family a n d r u r a l
c o m m u n i t y d i s i n t e g r a t e u n d e r t h e i m p a c t of m o d e r n i z a t i o n , t h o s e suffering
m o s t from s u c h d i s i n t e g r a t i o n often find themselves i n c l u d e d in a n d
s u p p o r t e d by a n e w family a n d c o m m u n i t y .

M o r e t h a n this, t h o s e l e d by t h e Spirit to s h a r e t h e little they have also
discover t h a t they c a n live a n d w o r k t o g e t h e r in such a way as to raise u p a n d
e m p o w e r e a c h o t h e r . F r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g of this m o v e m e n t , priests a n d lay-
p e r s o n s d i d e v e r y t h i n g possible to h e l p t h e p o o r e s t p e o p l e discover t h e i r
own p o t e n t i a l , b e c o m e e m p o w e r e d as ” d o e r s , ” a n d l e a r n h o w to e m p o w e r
o n e o t h e r . As this h a s b e c o m e a reality in t h e CBCs, t h e i r m e m b e r s n o t only
c r e a t e a n e w quality of i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s b u t also envision a n d
struggle for a society in w h i c h p o w e r flows from t h e b o t t o m u p i n s t e a d of
from t h e t o p d o w n . I n this way, t h e m e m b e r s r e p r e s e n t a radical c h a l l e n g e
to t h e rigidly h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e s of c h u r c h a n d society, i n c l u d i n g t h o s e
of progressive political m o v e m e n t s .

(4) T h i s quality of c o m m u n i t y life in t h e CBCs m a k e s it possible to b r i n g
i n t o e x i s t e n c e a c h u r c h in w h i c h p o o r a n d m a r g i n a l p e o p l e n o t only feel at
h o m e b u t also have full responsibility for all aspects of t h e c h u r c h ‘ s life a n d
p r o g r a m . S u c h a c h u r c h is o n e c a p a b l e of e x p a n d i n g s p o n t a n e o u s l y in t h e
p o o r e s t n e i g h b o o r h o o d s .

As t h e p o o r have t r i e d to o r g a n i z e t h e i r c o m m u n i t y of faith, they have
d i s c o v e r e d a n d a t t e m p t e d to p u t i n t o p r a c t i c e w h a t Paul has to say a b o u t t h e
charismata, o r gifts of t h e Spirit, p r e s e n t in e a c h c o m m u n i t y for t h e b u i l d i n g
u p of t h e Body of Christ. I n o r d e r for e a c h small c o m m u n i t y to f u n c t i o n
effectively, it is necessary for its m e m b e r s to take responsibility for a variety
of tasks. As I have said elsewhere:

People were needed who would take the initiative in working with others to
prepare the liturgy, direct Bible study, engage in evangelism, care for the
most urgent needs of the sick and those in trouble, organize people to work


Latin America

toward the solution of urgent community problems, and discover how to act
politically. And one or more persons were needed to coordinate these
various activities. It also became clear that members of each CBC had the
charismata needed for these ministries, and that the community had the
responsibility of recognizing those who had these various “gifts.”

Out of this experience new patterns of ministry are developing.
Ministries are arising from below, as the community decides what specific
tasks need to be undertaken and chooses those who should carry them out
for a limited period of time. A few natural leaders often emerge and are
given opportunities for further training, but they are encouraged to serve
the community and help train others rather than control and dominate it.
One or more persons from outside—a priest, a nun, a pastoral agent—may
play an important role in the organization and development of the
community. But h i s / h e r role is that of helping its members take full
responsibility for all aspects of its life.4

(5) T h e p o o r w h o have discovered t h e p r e s e n c e a n d p o w e r of G o d in t h e
m i d s t of t h e i r daily life also find t h a t spiritual r e b i r t h leads t h e m to d y n a m i c
a c t i o n a i m e d at t r a n s f o r m i n g society. I n fact, t h e m o r e vital a n d p r o f o u n d
t h e i r faith, t h e s t r o n g e r is t h e i r c o m p u l s i o n to e x p r e s s it in society. F o r
e x a m p l e , t h e p o o r a r e in a p o s i t i o n to o v e r c o m e a d i c h o t o m y often p r e s e n t
in P r o t e s t a n t i s m , t h e s e p a r a t i o n of t h e spiritual a n d t h e m a t e r i a l , t h e
individual a n d t h e social. T h e y realize t h a t G o d ‘ s salvific a c t i o n h a s to d o with
t h e fullness of h u m a n life. T o t h e e x t e n t t h a t they e x p e r i e n c e such fullness,
t h e i r faith b e c o m e s m o r e vital a n d c o n c r e t e . By t h e s a m e t o k e n , they find in
t h e i r faith a m o r e solid, spiritual u n d e r g i r d i n g for social a n d political a c t i o n ,
o n e c a p a b l e of s u s t a i n i n g t h o s e w h o live by it in difficult times.

T h i s vitality of faith, t h e quality of life in c o m m u n i t y , a n d t h e n e w m o d e l
of c h u r c h b e i n g d e v e l o p e d in t h e CBCs p r o v i d e a f o u n d a t i o n for a d y n a m i c
” c h u r c h of t h e p o o r . ” At t h e p r e s e n t m o m e n t , however, its f u t u r e is
s o m e w h a t u n c e r t a i n . T h e c o n c e r t e d effort b e i n g m a d e by t h e Vatican a n d
by t h e h i e r a r c h y in m a n y places to c o n t r o l t h e s e c o m m u n i t i e s m e a n s t h a t
they a r e n o t only d e p r i v e d of t h e s u p p o r t they n e e d to d e v e l o p b u t also find
t h a t t h e i r efforts to r e a c h a wider circle of p e o p l e in t h e C a t h o l i c c o m m u n i t y
a r e often effectively b l o c k e d . Clearly, t h e c o n t i n u i n g vitality of t h e CBCs will
d e p e n d u p o n t h e re -c re a t i o n , i n e a c h n e w g e n e r a t i o n , of t h e spirit a n d
e x p e r i e n c e of t h e f o u n d e r s . But this t r e m e n d o u s task is m a d e even m o r e
difficult by t h e climate of o p p o s i t i o n in t h e c h u r c h , of violence in society,
a n d of r e p r e s s i o n of p o p u l a r m o v e m e n t s in m a n y places.

U n f o r t u n a t e l y , it is likewise t r u e t h a t as t h e s e n e w Christians discover
t h a t t h e i r faith leads t h e m to b e c o m e involved in social a n d political

4. Ibid., p. 210.


struggles, they frequently get so caught u p in these struggles that they have
little time for or interest in deepening their faith or evangelizing others. Yet,
as the sufferings of the poorest people increase and their situation becomes
more desperate, they sense a greater need for a rich and rewarding religious
experience that will offer them comfort and peace and have the power to
reorient and reorganize their lives at the very time that all around them is
disintegrating. If they do not find this spiritual satisfaction in the CBCs, they
will search for it elsewhere.


The Pentecostal and other neoevangelical churches in Latin America
are experiencing phenomenal growth. The reason is that they have suc-
ceeded in connecting with and directing a powerful spirituality streaming
through the poorest people that neither the Roman Catholic nor the older
Protestant churches have been able to channel. Touching the deepest
religious longings of the poor, Pentecostal and evangelical churches offer
them a satisfying experience of God. As a result, the daily struggle of the poor
for health and survival is set in the context of their faith in the supernatural.
In the Pentecostal experience, many elements of Catholic popular religiosity
reappear, but are filled with new meaning. In contrast to the formal and
emotionally sterile worship in many traditional Protestant churches, which
uses a language quite foreign to the world-view of the poor, Pentecostalism
offers a type of worship in which the most humble can participate fully with
exuberance and spontaneity (e.g., in individual and group prayer, joyous
songs, and holy groaning and shouting).

In situations of the greatest suffering and poverty, the emotional and
spiritual appeal of Pentecostals may touch much more intimately the
anguish and despair of the people than theological discussion or Bible study
focusing on social, economic, and political issues. If this spirituality often
serves to turn the attention of Pentecostals away from the struggle to
transform the structures of oppression under which they live, this same
religious experience provides others with what they most need to sustain a
long and hard struggle against the forces of exploitation and repression.

The spiritual revitalization produced by Pentecostalism, which radically
transforms the moral life of the individual, can also contribute to the
transformation of family life and the establishment of new relations in the
local community. Especially for those who migrate to the large cities from
rural communities, these small churches often constitute a new “family,” or
community, for those who would otherwise be completely abandoned.

These congregations are becoming a type of “popular church,” open to
people regardless of race or social class. Their ecclesiastical structure permits
rapid growth and easy adaptation to new conditions. With their strong


Latin America

emphasis on the “gifts of the Spirit” and the vocation of each believer, the
Pentecostal churches not only call on all their members to exercise a ministry
but also offer them ample opportunities to participate in the life and mission
of the church. When one member is preaching, others can participate,
giving “glory to God” or speaking in tongues. New members, who have never
had an opportunity to express themselves in public, are urged to take
responsibility for a prayer meeting in the middle of the week, to give out
tracts, or to engage in street preaching. Soon those who have been most
marginal in society, convinced that they were of little worth and were
incapable of doing anything of value, discover that they have “gifts” for
preaching, serving others, and organizing new congregations. In the view of
Pentecostals, the most important thing in becoming a pastor is not to have
the right academic training but the “gift” to communicate the faith and
organize new congregations. “Anyone who has the gift can be a pastor.”

These elements in the life of Pentecostal churches have the potential to
provide their members with spiritual resources for dynamic participation in
the struggles of the poor in the coming years. At the same time, these
elements are offset by other factors. The theological orientation of Pentecos-
tal preaching and teaching has been essentially dualistic; the salvation
offered by Christ centers on the spiritual transformation of the individual,
and hope for the future is focused on the promise of eternal life and the
Second Coming of Christ, not on the transformation of historical existence
in the direction of the reign of God. In addition, many Pentecostal churches
have a patriarchal structure, in which the pastor occupies a position of
authority and control over the members similar to that of the landlord in the
traditional rural society. Also preachers with limited theological training may
inadvertendy use biblical language to sacralize traditional values and
structures, rather than to draw on that heritage to challenge and transform

Nevertheless, what is becoming increasingly evident is that a growing
number of Pentecostals, both pastors and laypersons, are finding that their
religious faith and their experience of Christ is sensitizing them to the
suffering and death caused by poverty and injustice. Such sensitivity opens
their eyes to what the Bible says about God’s concern for the poor and leads
them to seek help in broadening and deepening their understanding of the

In a movement among poor people, such as Pentecostalism, which has
much spiritual dynamism and ascribes great importance to the Bible and its
authority in the life of the believer, these concerns about suffering and death
and about poverty and injustice are very likely to grow. This will all the more
be the case if Pentecostals live in daily touch with other Christians who have
discovered and are living the gospel message of liberation. Many Pentecostal
pastors may be bound by a rigid, otherworldly theology, but as it is not this


theology but the experience of the Spirit that holds the central place in
Pentecostalism, changes in theological orientation may come about more
easily than in churches placing greater emphasis on correct doctrine.

In the Pentecostal churches, marginal people become active members
of a community that has a degree of autonomy over against state and society.
In them, alongside of the tendency to affirm and even sacralize some of the
values of the dominant society, is often found an element of protest against
an oppressive social system. As the economic situation of the poor majority
gets increasingly worse, evangelical movements identified with this majority
may be inclined to take much more seriously what the Word of God has to
say about the nature of God’s action in history, the concern of the Hebrew
prophets for social justice, and the message of Jesus about the reign of God.

Across the centuries, many revivalist and renewal movements, which
began with a limited spiritualistic and individualistic orientation, evolved,
after the first generation, in the direction of concern for social transforma-
tion. The same thing may well happen among the vigorous neoevangelical
movements in Latin America. Moreover, the future of the older Protestant
churches may depend upon their ability to relate creatively to these

Can we in the United States learn anything from the crisis in the older
Protestant churches in Latin America, the reinvention of the church in the
CBCs, and the present growth of Pentecostalism? Only if we are willing to
move closer to the “new historical subject” at home and abroad and to those
who are struggling to give shape to a new church in their midst. In dialogue
with them, we must strive to recover our own heritage as an “ecclesia
reformata semper reforman da.” This is something that we can hardly expect
any of our mainline denominations to undertake, but we can give priority to
the formation of small communities of women and men already being led
by the Spirit in this direction.


Λ Π ^ ,

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Theological Library Association.

Recipient participation in conversations involving participants
with fluent or non-fluent aphasia
Minna Laaksoa and Sisse Godtb

aDepartment of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland;
bDepartment of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

The present study compares the ways in which conversational partners
manage expressive linguistic problems produced by participants with
fluent vs. non-fluent aphasia. Both everyday conversations with family
members and institutional conversations with speech-language thera-
pists were examined. The data consisted of 110 conversational sequences
in which the conversational partners addressed expressive aphasic pro-
blems. Most problems of the speaker with fluent aphasia were locally
restricted phonological and word-finding errors, which were immediately
repaired. In contrast, the sparse expression of the speaker with non-fluent
aphasia was co-constructed by conversational partners in long negotia-
tion sequences to establish shared understanding. Some differences
between recipient participation ineveryday and institutional conversation
were found. The results emphasise the relevance of the nature of the
expressive linguistic problems on participation in interaction. They also
add to the clinical knowledge of handling aphasic problems in conversa-
tion. This knowledge can be used for developing interaction-focused

Received 1 December 2015
Accepted 4 August 2016

Aphasia type; co-
construction; family
members; other-repair;
speech-language therapists


The objective of the present study is to compare the ways in which participants manage
expressive linguistic problems related to fluent conduction aphasia and non-fluent agrammatic
aphasia in institutional and everyday settings. In general, conversations involving participants
with aphasia (PWAs) are characterised by frequent expressive linguistic problems and efforts to
resolve the problems in extended conversational sequences (e.g. Laakso & Klippi, 1999; Milroy
& Perkins, 1992). In problem-solving sequences both PWAs and their interlocutors participate
in clarifying meanings and establishing shared understanding. However, collaborative partici-
pation may differ between family members and speech-language therapists (SLTs) (Lindsay &
Wilkinson, 1999; Laakso, 2015). Besides the difference in everyday and institutional participa-
tion roles, the type of aphasia may also influence the participation of the interlocutors: fluent
production with frequent linguistic errors may call upon different collaborative actions than
non-fluent and linguistically sparse production.

Conversational speech shows adaptations to the underlying linguistic deficits characteristic
of the type of aphasia. In fluent conduction aphasia, speech is frequently distorted by
phonemic paraphasias (sound errors) and efforts to repair the problem by approximating

CONTACT Minna Laakso [email protected] Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology,
University of Turku, Assistentinkatu 7, Turku, FIN-20014, Finland.

2016, VOL. 30, NO. 10, 770–789

© 2016 Taylor & Francis

the right sound (Bartha & Benker, 2003; Kohn, 1984). Due to the underlying phonological
deficit, word-retrieval difficulties and word searching occur. In addition, speakers with
conduction aphasia may try to overcome word-finding problems with circumlocutory para-
phrasing or by using easily retrievable but semantically weak lexical items (e.g. Helasvuo,
Laakso, & Sorjonen, 2004). In non-fluent agrammatic aphasia speech is characterised by the
omission of grammatical morphemes, incomplete and incorrect syntactic constructions, and
short utterances (Menn, O’Connor, Obler, & Holland, 1995). As the underlying syntactic
deficit impairs verb and sentence production, speakers with agrammatic aphasia often resort
to telegraphic speech style by producing single-word utterances that are mostly uninflected
nouns (Heeschen & Schegloff, 1999). One adaptation in conversation is the fronting of noun
phrases to the beginning of the turn, so that the speakers overuse left dislocation in their turn
construction (Beeke, Wilkinson, & Maxim, 2003). Furthermore, the meaning of the turn may
emerge bit by bit by producing sequentially adjacent items without tying them together by
grammatical means (Beeke, Wilkinson, & Maxim, 2007; Heeschen & Schegloff, 1999). In
short, the two types of aphasia, fluent conduction aphasia and non-fluent agrammatic aphasia,
have different (phonological vs. syntactic) underlying deficits that manifest in dissimilar ways
in linguistic expression in conversation.

In the present study, the main focus is on the recipient-initiated next turn actions that
aim to manage expressive linguistic problems produced by the PWA in a prior turn. In
conversation analysis (CA), expressive problems are characterised as trouble sources that
can be managed by self- or other-initiated repair. PWAs are not as efficient in self-
repairing their own speech as is common in ordinary conversation (cf. Laakso, 1997:
130–140). Thus other-initiated actions by the interlocutors become more emphasised.
Other-initiated repair can be accomplished in many ways, including asking questions
(such as ‘what’, ‘who’, etc.), repeating the trouble source, or by offering candidate under-
standings for the recipient to confirm or reject (Schegloff, 2007: 101). In ordinary everyday
conversation the recipients usually do not directly correct the original speaker, as self-
repair is preferred over other-correction (Schegloff et al., 1977). However, in asymmetric
interactions (e.g. between adults and children) it is common that the more competent
interlocutors are active in resolving the problems and do other-correct (Norrick, 1991).
Also in connection with aphasia, co-participants are active and tend to provide candidate
words to resolve e.g. word searching (Laakso & Klippi, 1999; Oelschlaeger & Damico,
2000). However if the PWA has non-fluent speech, the interlocutors often co-construct
the sparse talk by adding meaning and extending the agrammatic elements into full
utterances (Goodwin, 1995; Heeschen & Schegloff, 1999). Interlocutors also interpret
embodied phenomena such gestures, gaze and facial expressions in co-constructing the
meaning of aphasic utterances (e.g. Beeke et al., 2013; Goodwin, 2003; Klippi, 2015;
Laakso, 2014). Besides interpretation, conversational partners may use an open-format
other-initiation of repair (e.g. ‘what’ or ‘sorry’) which returns the speaking turn to the
PWA (Barnes, 2016). In such cases the PWAs may have difficulties in resolving the
problem. The partners may also resist participating in problem solving (e.g. Aaltonen &
Laakso, 2010; Barnes & Ferguson, 2015). However, resistance is not the focus of the
present study as it analyses collaborative recipient actions.

In collaborative participation, some differences between everyday and institutional
conversational partners have been found. When compared to encounters with every-
day interlocutors, the interaction with representatives of a medical institution (e.g. an


SLT in health care) is usually more goal oriented and has special constraints as to
what are the appropriate conversational actions (for medical interaction, see e.g.
Heritage & Maynard, 2006). These constraints may result in differences in an SLT’s
actions in conversation with a PWA as compared to a conversation between everyday
conversation partners. Indeed, differing repair patterns in spouse vs. SLT conversa-
tions of PWAs have been found: The spouses tend to repeatedly correct the PWAs’
production errors even after the meaning has been recovered, whereas the SLTs avoid
correction (Lindsay & Wilkinson, 1999). In addition, significant others are found to
offer collaborative completions to word searches, whereas SLTs tend to ask questions
or offer candidate understandings longer than one word (Laakso, 2015). However,
thus far, very few studies have compared recipient-initiated repair activities in institu-
tional and home conversations of the same PWAs. Furthermore, to our knowledge,
the influence of different types of aphasias on recipient participation has not been

The purpose of the present multiple-case study is to compare the relevance of the
aphasia type (fluent vs. non-fluent) to the non-aphasic interlocutors’ management of
expressive linguistic problems in conversation. The research focus is on recipient-initiated
actions. Everyday vs. institutional conversational partners are also compared. The research
questions are as follows:

● What kind of expressive linguistic problems and problem-handling sequences man-
ifest in conversations involving PWAs with fluent vs. non-fluent aphasia?

● Are the recipient-initiated problem-handling practices of the non-aphasic interlocu-
tors different in conversations with:

● participants with fluent vs. non-fluent aphasia?
● family members vs. SLTs?

Data and method

Conversations and participants

The data consisted of four videotaped conversations (see Table 1). In these conversations
there were two kinds of conversational partners, family members and SLTs, in interaction
with participants with two different kinds of aphasia, Lauri (L) with conduction aphasia
and Kalevi (K) with agrammatic aphasia. L conversed at home both with his young adult

Table 1. Conversations and participants.
Conversation Participants Location Duration

Conversation 1 L (fluent speaker), L’s home, on the living room couch 00:40:00 hours
T and A
(two grandsons)

Conversation 2 L (fluent speaker), L’s home, on the living room couch 00:41:16 hours

Conversation 3 K (non-fluent speaker), K and E’s home at the kitchen table during
afternoon coffee

00:34:11 hours

E (the wife)
Conversation 4 K (non-fluent speaker), SLT-K University clinic 00:27:01 hours
Total 02:22:18 hours

Note. SLT-L = Speech-language therapist working with L; SLT-K = Speech-language therapist working with K.


grandsons (T and A), and with his SLT (SLT-L). K interacted at home with his wife (E)
and at the university clinic with his SLT (SLT-K). Pseudonyms are used and name initials
of all participants have been changed to anonymise them. All participants gave in writing
their informed consent to take part in the study and the principles of research ethics were
carefully followed in gathering and analysing the data. The data belong to a larger research
project examining the management of problems of speaking and understanding in aphasic
conversation (Academy of Finland, grant no 49250).

The conversations of L lasted approximately 40 minutes each, whereas K’s conversa-
tions lasted about 30 minutes each. The conversations were digitally videotaped on a
MiniDV tape with an additional microphone. The PWAs and their family members chose
a time and place where they usually interacted (e.g. a regular visit or an afternoon coffee)
and the cameraman (researcher or research assistant) came to videotape that. The
participants were asked to interact in the way they ordinarily would. The cameraman
was present in the beginning and end of (and occasionally during) the videotaping when
handling the camera was necessary. As both PWAs were receiving speech and language
therapy via a university clinic, they were asked to converse with their SLTs during a
therapy session. No specific instructions concerning the conversations were given. These
sessions were videotaped by the participating SLTs.

Both PWAs were retired males with chronic aphasia (see Table 2). They both had a
university degree. L (a former CEO) was a 79-year-old man who had suffered an infarc-
tion of the left medial cerebral artery 5 years ago. The infarction had left him with
moderately severe conduction aphasia, and he had had several periods of speech and
language therapy. L’s language production was fluent but paraphasic with many phonemic
and some semantic errors. He also displayed trouble with word-finding and recurrently
searched for words. K (a former dentist) was a 65-year-old man who had suffered an
infarction of the left medial cerebral artery 29 years ago. The infarction had left him with
severe Broca’s aphasia, and he had had intensive speech and language therapy during the
first year following his infarct and shorter periods after that. K’s language production was
non-fluent and agrammatic consisting mainly of uninflected nouns.

In conversation, L was able to use language in various ways for initiating and respond-
ing (including questions, answers, comments and narrative turns), whereas K’s commu-
nicative actions were mainly responsive to the interlocutors’ actions.

Transcription and analysis

The video material was analysed as Windows Media files. First the conversations were
transcribed according to conversation analytic notation (Atkinson & Heritage 1984: ix–xvi).

Table 2. Background data of the participants with aphasia.


Duration of

illness Diagnosis
Aphasia type


Severity of aphasia

L, male, 79 years MCA 5 years CVA Conduction/fluent 34/60 3
K, male, 65 years MCA 29 years CVA Broca/non-fluent 17/60 2

Note. MCA = medial cerebral artery, CVA = cerebrovascular accident, BDAE = Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination
(Goodglass & Kaplan, 1983; Finnish version Laine, Niemi, Tuomainen & Koivuselkä-Sallinen, 1997); BNT = Boston Naming
Test (Kaplan, Goodglass, Weintraub & Segal, 1983; Finnish version Laine, Koivuselkä-Salllinen, Hänninen & Niemi, 1997);
BDAE severity scale 1 = most severe, 5 = mildest).


Along with speech, embodied actions such as hand gestures were described in small capitals
within double parentheses on a separate line below the utterance they co-occurred with. For
the sake of clarity, the data extracts include embodied actions only if they are relevant for the
present analysis. In the data extracts (see example 1), an English translation is provided (in
bold face) alongside the original transcription (in italics). When of analytic interest, the talk
of each person is depicted in three lines consisting of the original Finnish, an English word-
by-word gloss (see glossing symbols in the Appendix), and an English translation. In the
gloss line, unintelligible word forms are marked with question marks and, if possible, targets
of these word forms in curly brackets (see line 02 in example 1):

The results were obtained through CA paying special attention to repair organisation
(Sacks, 1992; Schegloff et al, 1977). First, all instances where any of the speakers oriented
to a section of a conversation as problematic were identified. These problem handling
instances were divided into sequences by topical organisation. Out of these topical
sequences a total of 72 sequences were such where the non-aphasic interlocutors, i.e.
the recipients of the PWAs’ talk, indicated the previous turns of the PWAs as problematic.
These were referred to as negotiation sequences. During this preliminary analysis, it was
observable that the negotiation sequences in conversations involving the two men were
different. The conversations of the fluent speaker allowed for a turn-by-turn analysis of
repair organisation while in the conversations of the non-fluent speaker separate repair
sequences were not easily identifiable. Thus, the initial 27 negotiation sequences of the
fluent speaker were further analysed for local repair phenomena, and altogether 65 repair
sequences of two or more turns during which the problem was dealt with were identified
(see Table 3). In connection with non-fluent aphasia, problem handling manifested in
almost all conversational turns of the participants without clearly identifiable repair
sequences, and could only be investigated at a broader topical sequential level. Thus,
forcing the 45 topical negotiation sequences of the non-fluent speaker into more concise
repair sequences was not appropriate. The sequences analysed accordingly consisted of
110 problem-handling sequences in total (see Table 3).


The nature of expressive linguistic problems in conversations of participants with
fluent vs. non-fluent aphasia

The trouble sources of the speaker with fluent aphasia were identified either as word search
(see example 2; cf. also Goodwin & Goodwin 1986) or as a problem of general intelligibility
(see example 3, cf. also Damico et al., 2008), when a clear word search was not present but

(1) Example of the transcription, glossing and translation of
data extracts.

01 L: onko se- tuo- (.) hh .mt Ville kertonu
is-Q he that 1nameM tell-PPC
has he- that- (.) hh .mt Ville told you

02 minkälaista se on (0.5) amer- amerissa- (-)
what.sort.of-PAR it is {army}-INE
what it is like (0.5) in the a- ar- (-)


something in the turn was unintelligible enough to stop the flow of conversation, and led
to a subsequent repair initiation in the next turn by the interlocutor. In the following
example (2), a word search occurs (lines 01–05). The fluent speaker L is talking with his
two grandsons (A and T) about global politics. On line 01, L starts a new topic and ends
up trying to produce a place name in Africa:

L’s utterance on lines 01–05 includes many search markers such as pauses (three of them
extending to one second, see lines 02, 04, 05), comments on his own knowledge or ability
to find the word: ‘I don’t know what it is’, (line 01) and attempts at approximating the
phonemic structure of the target words (lines 02–05). On line 06 his grandson A offers his
suggestion for the searched word, Eritrea. It is noteworthy that A’s suggestion phonemi-
cally resembles L’s last attempt at the word. Due to the nature of his aphasia L is able to
produce expression referring to a place (‘there’, line 03) and phonemic approximations of
the place name (lines 04–05), which may make it easier for the recipient to offer a

Table 3. Analysed problem handling (repair and negotiation) sequences.
Conversation Sequences

Conversation 1 29 repair sequences
(L, grandsons)

Conversation 2 36 repair sequences
(L, SLT)

Conversation 3 29 negotiation sequences
(K, wife, cameraman)

Conversation 4 16 negotiation sequences
(K, SLT)

Total 110

(2) Word search. (The possible targets of erroneous or cut-off word forms are
in curly brackets in the gloss line. If no target can be traced the word is
marked with a question mark on the gloss line.)

01 L: Mmm se:(.) en tiiä- (.) en tiiä hh mikä se on
it NEG-1 know-INF NEG-1 know-INF what it is

Mmm it:(.)I don’t know-(.)I don’t know hh what it is

02 e- e- e: e::len kaks (a: h eutrah (1.3)
{eilen=yesterday} two ?
e- e- e: {yesterday} two (a: h eutrah (1.3)

03 epron hh)(0.7).HH sielä hh ö: (0.5).mt lasa hh
? there ?

epron hh)(0.7).HH there hh uh: (0.5).mt lasa hh

04 lasarin hhh (1.0).hhh apessiina (.) apessiina hh
? {Abessiinia=Abyssinia} {Abyssinia}

lasarin hhh (1.0).hhh {Abyssinia} (.){Abyssinia}hh

05 (1.0) vedutrea hh

(1.0) {vedutrea} hh

06 A: Eritrea niinkö.
Eritrea PRT-Q (appr. you mean)
you mean Eritrea.

07 L: Nii.


candidate interpretation. Grandson’s candidate is formulated as a polar question with the
inferencing particle niin (its meaning here as an independent clausal unit corresponds to
‘right’) and the question clitic -kö, which is then confirmed as correct by L.

Example (3) illustrates the other characteristic trouble source by speaker L, a problem
of general intelligibility (see lines 04–05). L is talking with his SLT (SLT-L) about the
heating system in his house. In the beginning of the sequence, SLT-L asks which heating
system the house has (line 01):

On line 02, L responds without problems that his house has district heating, a heating
system in which a centralised plant using gas or oil delivers heating for a whole town
suburb. From line 04 onwards L begins to expand his original response but is not able to
continue his utterance to an understandable completion. Instead, after describing the
district heating as ‘it burns somewhere’, he only produces some cut-off attempts at
words (line 05). In overlap with L’s attempts the SLT-L starts to process the trouble by
offering her candidate understanding (line 06). Using the particle niin (here in turn-initial
position appr. ‘I see’), SLT-L’s candidate ‘somewhere far away’ is formulated as inferen-
cing from L’s prior talk about district heating (‘far-heat’, line 02) rather than on the
phonemic structure of L’s cut-off attempts on line 05. It is also produced as a completion
to fit L’s utterance: ‘it burns somewhere’ – ‘somewhere far away’. However, as the exact
nature of the expression L was striving at remains unintelligible, he only acknowledges
SLT-L’s candidate resolution with ‘mmm’ (line 07).

In sum, the expressive problems in the turns of the speaker with fluent conduction
aphasia were regularly phonemically distorted words that were cut off to search for a
better approximate. In some cases, the cut-off attempts provided information for the
recipient to interpret the word and offer a specific candidate (example 1). In the other
cases, the recipients produced more general interpretations based on L’s prior talk
(example 2). L’s expressive problems were thus specific occurrences amongst otherwise
understandable conversation that could be treated with specific recipient-initiated repair

(3) Problem of general intelligibility.

01 SLT-L: Onko tässä niinku öljy vai sähkölämmitys tässä-
is-Q here-INE PRT(like)oil or electric heating here-INE
Is it like oil or electric heating system in here-

02 L: Se on kaukolämpö.
it is disctrict.heating (literally: ‘far-heat’)
It is district heating.

03 SLT-L: Kaukolämpö [joo.
District heating [yeah.

04 L: [Nii.(0.8) se palaa(2.0)jossaki
PRT it burn-3 somewhere
[Right.(0.8) it burns(2.0)somewhere

05 (tapah- (.) [ve-)
{tapahtua=happen} ?
(hap- (.) [ve-)

06 SLT-L: [Nii jossain kaukana.
PRT somewhere far.away
[I see somewhere far away.

07 L: Mmm.


practices. The participation structure of the repair sequences in L’s conversations mani-
fested as follows:

(1) There is an identifiable problem in the turn of the fluent aphasic speaker.
(2) The recipient offers a candidate resolution in the next turn.
(3) The PWA confirms/rejects the repair.

On the contrary, in the conversations of the non-fluent speaker almost all speaking turns
of the PWA were problematic due to his limited linguistic expression. Most of K’s turns
could be characterised as minimal expression which led to a telegraphic construction of a
turn (see example 4, lines 04–05). In this example the non-fluent speaker K is talking with
his wife (E) about his hobby, photography:

In example (4), the wife introduces a new topic to the conversation by asking a question (line
01). The non-fluent speaker K responds to the question minimally with an affirmative particle
joo ‘yes’, and does not develop the topic any further (line 02). His turn thus provides the most
minimal possible answer to E’s question. On line 3, the wife then develops the topic by asking a
follow-up question. To this question K responds with a more extended answer that he constructs
in telegraphic style (lines 04–05; cf. Beeke et al., 2003; Heeschen & Schegloff 1999). He starts with
a clausal construction joo mutta toi (‘yes but that’), cuts it off and pauses for almost 5 seconds.
After the pause he produces isolated words: the elements of K’s turn are adjacent, separated with
pauses, but do not form a clear clausal structure. He frequently uses the pronoun toi ‘that’ for
projecting that there is more to come, as toi is used as a modifier to a noun (cf. Helasvuo et al.,
2004). Most of the words he uses are not inflected, and finally he is able to say his main point, ‘25
pictures’, although without a clear sentence structure its meaning is hard to interpret. However,

(4) Minimal expression and telegraphic construction of a turn.

01 E: Onks valokuvia viel tekemättä.
is-Q photograph-PL-PAR still do-INF
Are there still photographs to develop.

02 K: Joo.

03 E: Otit sä sielt Matin synttäreilt kuvia.
Take-2-PST you there-ABL 1nameF-GEN birthday-ABL picture-PL-PAR
Did you take pictures at Matti’s birthday party.

04 K: Joo mutta toi- (4.7)aa vaitta toi- (2.8) iso toi-
PRT but that ? that big that
Yes but that-(4.7.) ah vaitta that-(2.8) big that-

05 (3.0)kaksikymmentä (.) viisi (1.5) kuvaa.
twenty five picture-PAR

(3.0)twenty (.) five (1.5) pictures.

06 E: Jäi ottamatta.
leave-PST take-INF
Were not taken.

07 K: Ei (1.7) mutta toi,
no but that
No (1.7) but that,

08 (8.4)


E offers a completion to K’s telegraphic construction (line 06). In this way she co-constructs K’s
utterance into a full sentence: ‘Yes but twenty five pictures were not taken’. K, however, rejects
her interpretation (line 07), and the negotiation continues.

In sum, the expressive linguistic problems of the PWA with non-fluent aphasia were more
extensive affecting most of his speaking turns. As a consequence, the participation structure of
the negotiation sequences in these conversations manifested as follows:

(1) The non-aphasic speaker presents a question or new topic and a response is
expected; the turns are speech eliciting in nature.

(2) The speaker with non-fluent aphasia produces a response which results in trouble
because of sparse expression.

(3) The non-aphasic speaker co-constructs the utterance supplying a fuller grammatical
structure; the turns are interpretative in nature.

(4) The negotiation continues until mutual understanding is satisfactorily reached or
attempts thereof are renounced.

In the following, we will illustrate further these different participatory structures within the
conversations of fluent vs. non-fluent participants. We will focus on the methods employed by
the recipients to address the trouble emerging from expressive linguistic difficulties. First, we will
analyse and compare the family members’ and SLT’s next turn repair actions in the conversa-
tions of the participant with fluent aphasia. Second, we will look at the family member’s and
SLT’s actions in the conversations of the participant with non-fluent aphasia.

Recipient actions in conversations of the participant with fluent aphasia

As shown earlier, the trouble sources of the fluent speaker proved to be more local. As a
consequence, they were solved by relatively uncomplicated next turn repair actions. Example
(5) illustrates a paraphasic word search, the most common expressive problem in the con-
versation between the fluent speaker L and his two grandsons (A and T) (see lines 01–04). T
responds to the search with a word candidate (line 05; for a similar practice see e.g.
Oelschlaeger & Damico, 2000):

(5) Offering a word candidate.

01 L: Nii. (2.4) .mt joo hh .mt (3.2).mt hh (on hh nä hh)
right yeah is ?
Right. (2.4) .mt yeah hh .mt (3.2).mt hh (has hh nä hh)

02 (1.5) .mt (1.8) onko se- tuo- (.) hh .mt Ville
is-Qhethat 1nameM
(1.5) .mt (1.8) has he- that- (.) hh .mt Ville

03 kertonu minkälaista se on (0.5) amer- amerissa- (-)
tell-PPC what.sort.of-PAR it is {army}-INE
told you what it is like (0.5) in the a- ar- (-)

04 amer[(—)
ar [(—)


In example (5), the fluent speaker L asks a question about a mutual relative (lines 01–04).
On lines 03–04 he runs into word finding difficulty in completing his turn and cannot
reach the correct form of the word. However, at the end of a grammatical construction his
word search is suggestive enough for T, one of the grandsons, to come up with a word
candidate, and so on line 05, T joins the search in overlap by offering the word to
complete L’s turn. The close relationship between the participants and the family mem-
ber’s shared knowledge on the topic may also make it easier to offer a word candidate. The
word candidate is approved by L who repeats it (line 06). This example works to exemplify
how a linguistic difficulty, a word search, can quite directly and immediately be fixed in
order to move forward in the conversation much like what would happen in an ordinary
conversation between non-aphasic speakers (cf. Goodwin & Goodwin, 1986).

Besides word candidates, direct other-corrections were common in fluent conversations
(see example 6). Here L and his two grandsons (T and A) are talking about the boys’
prospective matriculation examinations. An unmodulated other-correction typical of
everyday interaction (cf. Haakana & Kurhila, 2009) occurs on line 03:

In commenting how the boys must prepare themselves for the exams, L unsuccessfully
approximates the word prepata ‘prime’ with a cut-off attempt preta- and a further form
peretal (line 01). L is already beginning to move on in making his comment (line 02) when
A, the other grandson, corrects (line 03) the paraphasic form in overlap with L who is
finishing his turn. Although A’s turn is a direct other-correction, it is not treated as

05→ T: [Armeijassa.=

[In the army.=

06 L: =Armeijassa.
=In the army.

(6) Other-correcting.

01 L: Teidän pitää- (1.1) nyt sitte- (.) preta- peretal
you-PL-GEN must now then {prime} {prime}
So you need to-(1.1) now- then- (.) pri- pirem

02 eng[lang-
for Engl-

03 → A: [Prepata.


04 L: Nii.

05 A: Joo.

06 T: Ni:i.


problematic by L who confirms it (line 04). The other-correction makes up a minimal
insertion sequence (lines 03–04), after which the conversation returns to its progression
and L’s comment on lines 01–02 receives its response from both boys (lines 05-06).

The above-mentioned direct problem-handling methods (i.e. word candidates and
other-corrections) were characteristic next turn repairs in the conversation between L
with fluent aphasia and his grandsons. These frequent other-repairs did not appear to be
considered problematic although there is a preference for self-repair in conversation
(Schegloff et al., 1977). On the contrary, direct other-repair resolved the trouble effectively
and permitted the participants to develop the topic instead of focusing on repair.

However, the participation of the SLT differed from the family members to some
extent. In example (7) L and his SLT are talking about the funny name of L’s residential
area. Instead of directly correcting, the SLT offers a display of her understanding as a full
sentence (lines 05–06):

On lines 01‒03, L comments that if he were better able to talk, he would do something
regarding the name. L’s turn includes pauses and attempts at self-repair and the end of the
turn (line 03) is hard to understand. The SLT does not readily respond (line 04), after
which she first acknowledges L’s turn and then offers her formulation (lines 05–06) of the
gist of L’s meaning for L to confirm or reject, resembling rephrasing formulations used in
psychotherapy (cf. Weiste & Peräkylä, 2013) which offer the therapist’s version of the
client’s description. The SLT’s formulation is produced as a summarising sentence, not as
a single word as were the word candidates of the grandsons. On line 07, L indicates that
the SLT’s formulation is correct by approving it. In contrast to the direct methods of the
two grandsons, the SLT’s approach seems more indirect and subtle. She does not interrupt
the turn of L by offering immediate corrections (instead she responds after a pause).
Giving time and not instantly assuming the floor may reflect the rehabilitative elements of
speech-language therapy. Not taking the floor at the first possible place seems to

(7) Offering candidate understanding.

01 L: °juu,° (1.3) jos minä olisin paremmin (0.6) puhu-
yeah if I are-1-CON good-COMP speak
°yeah,° (1.3) if I was better (0.6) at speak-

02 puhumaan niin (.) menisin- menisin sinne joskus (.)
speak-INF so go-1-CON go-1-CON there sometime
speaking (.)I would go- I would go there sometime (.)

03 heh heh (1.2) vähä (käy käy-) (.) Pönttölä.
a little fit fit place-name

heh heh (1.2) a little (fit fit-) (.) Pönttölä.

04 (1.3)

05 → SLT-L: Mmm. (.)pyrkisit vaikuttammaan että
try-2-CON influence-INF that

Mmm. (.)you would try to influence on

06 → muutetaan nimi.
change-PAS DEF name
changing the name.

07 L: Niin? (0.8)
Yeah? (0.8)


encourage the speaker with aphasia to resolve the trouble on his own. In this way she
allows the preferred self-repair to take place. In therapy other-correction may be experi-
enced as dispreferred. The SLT’s multi-word response also models sentence-level expres-
sion for the aphasic speaker.

Recipient actions in conversations of the participant with non-fluent aphasia

In contrast to the easily identified, isolated trouble sources in fluent conduction aphasia
and the immediate next turn resolution thereof, in non-fluent aphasia, trouble permeates
the conversation, leaving the non-aphasic speaker responsible for co-constructing a mean-
ing for the turns. In example (8), K with non-fluent aphasia is talking with his wife (E)
about their plans for the day in a form of a ‘hint-and-guess’ sequence where questions,
interpretations and guesses by the non-aphasic participant alternate with the answers and
hints by the PWA (cf. Laakso & Klippi, 1999). The wife starts the topic by informing K
what she is going to do in the evening (lines 01–02):

(8) Co-constructing ‘hint-and-guess’ sequence.

01 E: No kuule (1.2) mä lähden nyt sitte tänä iltana
PRT hear-2-IMP I go-1 now then this-ESS evening-ESS
Well you (1.2) I’m going to go draw in pencil

02 piirtämään.

03 K: Jaaha?
I see?

04 E: Mmmhm?

05 K: Minä toi khhh kauppa toi (.) leh- toi lehti?
I that store that {magazine} that magazine
I that khhh store that (.) mag- that magazine?

06 E: Nii?

07 K: Ja ((coughs)) kir- kirje (.) kirja.

and {letter} letter book
And ((coughs)) let- letter (.) book.

08 → E: (Oo sun) mitä Tekniikan maailman vai?
you-GEN what magazine.name-GEN or

(Oh your) World of Technology or which one?

09 K: Joo.

10 → E: Vaiko Tietokonelehti.
Or-Q magazine.name
Or Computer Magazine.

11 K: £Joo se toih-£
yeah it that

£Yes this that-£


The new topic the wife introduces is met with K’s short response (line 03), and the wife
encourages K to expand with a minimal interrogative Mmmhm? (line 04). As a result, K
produces a telegraphic-style utterance ‘I – store – magazine’ (line 05). In this slot, his
utterance is interpretable as commenting what he himself is going to do later. Again the
wife invites K to continue with an inquiring minimal response (line 06). K continues by
adding elements ‘and letter book’ (line 07) which do not clarify the meaning of his prior
turn. The wife proceeds to offer a name of a magazine, and a ‘hint and guess’ sequence
begins (line 08). The wife’s interrogative guess-type turns alternate with K’s hint-type
answers until line 16 where K utters a crucial hint ‘America’ which is followed by the
wife’s final candidate, Computer Magazine (line 17). The wife’s single word offers resemble
the word candidates the grandsons used to resolve word searches in the fluent data. The
sequence then ends with acknowledging closing turns (lines 18–19). There is an interesting
detail on lines 08–09 where K seems to accept the wife’s first word candidate as correct. On
closer inspection K’s turn on line 09 is hesitant in tone and he does not direct his gaze to his
wife to confirm his verbal message. In the light of this conflicting information the wife,
perhaps having adapted to the aphasic difficulties manifested in their conversations, is able
to see that the current word candidate may not have been correct and proceeds to offer
alternatives that seem to be based on her prior knowledge on magazines her husband usually
buys. Another potential display of the couple’s adaptation to the husband’s disability is how
the wife chooses to begin negotiating the meaning of K’s turns on lines 05 and 07. She
ignores the letter and book K has mentioned but instead targets the name of the magazine
which she treats as the most crucial bit of information regarding the topic. Her action
resembles the behaviour of the two grandsons in the fluent speaker data in that it seems to
aim at as effortless solution as possible in order to further the topic of conversation.
Interpreting K’s turns in their entirety might have led into a prolongation of the negotiation.

The dissimilarity in everyday vs. institutional recipient participation was not as explicit in the
non-fluent speaker conversations as in the fluent data. In the non-fluent data, the SLT co-
constructs the talk of K in a way that resembles the wife’s actions in the home conversation.
However, whereas the wife initiates conversational topics by commenting, the SLT tries to elicit

12 → E: £Vai molemmat.£
£Or both.£

13 K: £Yksi.£

14 → E: Kumpi.
Which one.

15 (1.2)

16 K: Se (.) ((coughs)) Amerikka toi,
it America that
It (.) ((coughs)) America that,

17 → E: Tietokonelehti.
magazine name
Computer Magazine.

18 K: Mmm,

19 E: Joo. (1.5)
Yeah. (1.5)


and prompt conversation by asking questions, which is a practice typically employed by SLTs
(cf. Silvast, 1991). In example (9), the non-fluent speaker K and SLT-K are talking about K’s

(9) Speech elicitation, prompting and co-constructing a ‘hint-and-guess’ sequence.

01 SLT-K: Mt entäs sitte siitä- (.) sä har- sanoit että sä
what about then it-ELA you say-2-PST that you
What about that then- (.) you take- you said that you

02 harrastat sitä valokuvausta. (.)
take-2.an.interest.in it-PAR photographing-PAR
take an interest in photographing. (.)

03 kerro siitä. (1.8) sul on kameroita. (.)
tell-IMP it-ELA you-ADE is camera-PL-PAR
tell me about that. (1.8) you’ve got cameras. (.)

04 montakin.
many too.

05 K: Joo.

06 (2.5)

07 SLT-K: Minkälaisia.
What kind.

08 (2.1)

09 K: Vanha toi- (1.9) kaksikymmentä- ei kolmekymmentä-

Old that twenty no thirty
Old that- (1.9) twenty- no thirty-

10 ei: neljäkymmentä vuotta toi- (1.6) heh vanhat.
no forty year-PAR that old-PL
No: forty years that- (1.6) heh old.

11 → SLT-K: Oot sitäkin harrastanu
are-2 it-PAR-CLI take.an.interest-PPC
You have taken an interest in that

12 → nelkyt vuotta.
forty year-PAR
fo forty years.

13 K: Joo.

14 → SLT-K: Valokuvausta [myöskin.
photographing-PAR too-CLI
Photographing [as well.

15 K: [Joo. (.) joo.
[Yes. (.) yes.

16 → SLT-K: Onko sulla kameraa siltä ajalta.
is-Q you-ADE camera-PAR it-ABL time-ABL
Do you have a camera from that period.

17 K: Joo.


In example (9) on lines 01–04, the SLT introduces a new topic, K’s hobby of photography, into
the conversation. The SLT’s question ‘do you have many cameras’ is met with a minimal
affirmation by K (line 05). The conversation does not progress and the SLT follows up with
another question ‘what kind of cameras’ (line 07), which prompts K to a telegraphic expression
‘old – twenty – thirty – forty – years old’ (lines 09–10). From lines 11–12, the SLT interprets and
co-constructs the meaning of K’s turn. As K confirms, the SLT goes on by asking further
questions to which K responds (lines 13–21). On line 22, the SLT produces one final question in
the topical sequence, K responds minimally and the topic is closed by weak mutual agreement
(lines 24–25). In the sequence there are SLT’s turns that demonstrate speech elicitation which
may serve a specific speech therapy purpose but as a whole the sequence makes up a ‘hint-and-
guess’ sequence where K’s hint/answer turns follow the SLT’s guess/question turns much like
what could be seen in the conversation between K and his wife. Similarly as with fluent data, the
SLT’s questions are formulated as full sentences, not as single word candidates. However, the
SLT’s lack of shared background knowledge may affect her co-constructive turns.

Summary of the results

Due to the differences in linguistic deficits the overall structures of the fluent and non-fluent
aphasic conversations turned out to be distinct. This difference was reflected both in the way
aphasic expressive trouble appeared in these conversations and how it was managed. The most
significant difference in the participation of the interlocutors proved to be that specific repair
phenomena were present in the fluent conversations while the non-fluent conversations were co-
constructive in nature. In the fluent conversations the non-aphasic participants were able to
address specific, less obtrusive trouble sources, most typically word searches and phonemic
paraphasias, quite directly and most of the time successfully with little interruption to the flow of

18 → SLT-K: Se- (.) nelkyt vuotta vanha.
it forty year-PAR old
That- (is)(.) forty years old.

19 K: Joo. (.) lapset ja toi- (.) ja toi- (.) joo.

PRT child-PL and that and that yeah
Yes. (.)children and that- (.)and that-(.) yes.

20 → SLT-K: Et sä et itse käytä enää sitä.
that you NEG-2 self use-PAS anymore it-PAR
So you don’t use it yourself anymore.

21 K: Ei. (.) ei se toi-
no no it that
No. (.) no it that-

22 → SLT-K: Mut onks se kuitenkin käyttökelpoinen periaatteessa.
but is-Q it anyway usable principle-INE
But it still works in principle.

23 K: Joo?

24 SLT-K: [Mmm?

25 K: [°Joo.°



the conversation. In the non-fluent conversations the non-aphasic participants continuously
interpreted and co-constructed the turns of the participant with non-fluent aphasia. The primary
action in the non-fluent conversations thus became the turn-by-turn co-construction of mean-
ing in an attempt to establish some level of mutual understanding.

In the data of the fluent aphasic speaker, the SLT and the grandsons used differing practices
in handling the emerging trouble. The most direct single-word methods of repair (such as other-
corrections and single word candidates) were used more by family members than by the SLT. In
contrast, the practices used by the SLT were less direct and in the form of complete sentences
(such as candidate understandings of the prior turn and summaries of a longer sequence)
instead of single-word turns. In the non-fluent data both the wife and the SLT worked towards
shared understanding by co-constructing ‘hint-and-guess’ sequences. The co-construction of
meaning seemed to vary little with regard to the interlocutor. However, with the SLT speech
elicitation activities seemed more prominent and the SLT formed her guesses and questions as
complete sentences.

In sum, the results of the present study suggest two kinds of conclusions. First, the type of
aphasia seems to have a significant impact on the emerging participation structure of the
conversation and on the practices the recipients employ to manage the problems (i.e. repair vs.
co-construction). Second, the participation of the family members and the SLTs seems to be
dissimilar in certain ways.


It has been noted in previous research that the deteriorated linguistic competence of speakers
with aphasia renders aphasic conversation asymmetric which in turn gives rise to specific
interactional phenomena. Such typical features include the emphasised role of non-aphasic
speakers in the management of trouble in communication (see e.g. Bloch & Beeke, 2008;
Heeschen & Schegloff, 1999; Oelschlaeger & Damico, 2000; Milroy & Perkins, 1992) and the
prolongation of the repair sequences that appear in order to solve such trouble (see e.g. Laakso
& Klippi, 1999; Lindsay & Wilkinson, 1999; Laakso, 2003). The results of this multiple-case
study support the findings of the emphasised role of the non-aphasic interlocutors. However,
our comparative approach revealed some differences in recipient participation depending on
the type of aphasia: the principal participatory approach of handling trouble in the fluent
speaker data was repair while in the non-fluent data it was co-construction.

Contrary to previous studies of aphasic conversation (e.g. Laakso & Klippi, 1999), prolonged
sequential repair was not found in connection with chronic fluent conduction aphasia. In
particular in the conversations with family members, the expressive aphasic problems were
handled immediately and rather effortlessly in the next turn following the problem. On the
other hand, the prolongation of the negotiation sequences and the role of the non-aphasic
speaker were especially prominent in the non-fluent data. Thus, the findings of this study
concur with previous studies that have investigated severe (e.g. Goodwin, 1995) and non-fluent
agrammatic (e.g. Heeschen & Schegloff, 1999) aphasias. In the non-fluent data, initiating
conversation in the first place required the active participation of the non-aphasic speaker.
However, with the support of the interlocutor the non-fluent speaker was able to contribute to
the conversation at hand. The non-aphasic participants viewed the speaker with non-fluent
aphasia as a competent conversationalist and for the most part truly strived to interpret, suggest
and create meaning for his turns. The same has been observed by Goodwin (1995). The way


Heeschen & Schegloff (1999) describe the aphasic telegraphic style mobilizing the non-aphasic
speaker to act as an active collaborator and interpreter in re-forming the aphasic telegraphic
utterances was also evidenced by the current study.

The current data may reinforce the conclusions that the nature of participation between
family members and SLTs is different (see e.g. Lindsay & Wilkinson, 1999; Perkins, 1995).
The present observations are analogous also with Laakso (2015) in that—just like in
everyday conversations in general—the essential aspiration in the family conversation is
to promote the topical flow of the conversation by managing the trouble as efficiently as
possible. Instead the participation of the SLTs seems less efficient. The SLTs’ lack of shared
knowledge on the PWAs’ life as compared with the relatives may also influence the
accuracy of their interpretive actions. The SLTs’ indirect sentence-level practices resemble
those found by Lindsay and Wilkinson (1999). In fluent speaker data, the family members
use more direct methods than the SLT to deal with the trouble, much like the prompt
word candidates described by Oelschlaeger & Damico (2000). Also noteworthy is that
direct other-correction is not dispreferred, contrary to the prior findings of Perkins (1995)
and Wilkinson (1995) on English aphasic conversation.

Limitations, further research, and clinical implications

The results suggest that there may be different conversational participatory structures where
the type of aphasia may be one of the dividing factors. It is nonetheless best assumed that
the variation is substantial even within one aphasia type which is why a dichotomy merely
based on aphasia fluency should probably be considered cautiously (cf. Helasvuo, Klippi, &
Laakso, 2001). The differences in the chronicity and severity of aphasia in our data may play
a role and deserve further study. In our study, due to the nature of his conduction aphasia,
the fluent speaker was less severely impaired in his expression than the speaker with non-
fluent agrammatic aphasia. If possible, future studies could examine conversations involving
participants with similarly severe but qualitatively different aphasias. Our findings also
suggest that further research directed at everyday conversations along with the institutional
settings is essential. Varying settings and co-participants may lead to different displays of the
communicative competence of the PWA. Thus, examining only one setting may give a
limited view on the possibilities for participation the PWA has.

The findings imply that clinical professionals should increasingly use videotaped everyday
interactions as well as therapy data in evaluating the language and communication of people
with aphasia. Systematic study of recipient-initiated repair actions in naturally occurring
interaction gives research-based knowledge that can be used in training conversation
partners, which has become an increasingly common approach in aphasia rehabilitation
(for a review of such training approaches, see e.g. Simmons-Mackie, Savage, & Worrall,
2014; Turner & Whitworth, 2006; Wilkinson, 2010). Future studies should explore the use of
next turn repair practices in clinical partner training. The differences in repair practices
could be taken into consideration in partner training: one might want to train more
immediate repair practices in connection with fluent conduction aphasias, whereas in
connection with non-fluent agrammatic aphasia the approach might be more on co-con-
struction, elicitation and assisting augmentative and alternate communication methods,


such as pictorial support. With detailed case studies we can accumulatively form a larger,
systematic database within which training outcomes can be observed.

Declaration of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Principles and abbreviations used in glossing (modified from Sorjonen, 2001).

In the gloss, morphemes have been separated from the root with a hyphen.

The case endings are referred to by the following abbreviations:

Other abbreviations:

Case Abbreviation Approximate meaning

Genitive GEN possession
Partitive PAR partitiveness
Inessive INE ‘in’
Elative ELA ‘out of’
Adessive ADE ‘at, on’
Ablative ABL ‘from’

Abbreviation Meaning

1 First person ending
2 Second person ending
1NAME First name
CLI Clitic
CON Conditional
COMP Comparative
INF Infinitive
PL Plural
PRT Particle
PST Past tense (imperfect)
Q Interrogative clitic


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  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Data and method
    • Conversations and participants
    • Transcription and analysis
  • Results
    • The nature of expressive linguistic problems in conversations of participants with fluent vs. non-fluent aphasia
    • Recipient actions in conversations of the participant with fluent aphasia
    • Recipient actions in conversations of the participant with non-fluent aphasia
  • Summary of the results
  • Discussion
  • Limitations, further research, and clinical implications
  • Declaration of interest
  • References
  • Appendix

Self-expression through sport participation: exploring
participant desired self-image
Jerred Junqi Wanga, Daniel L. Wann b, Zhenqiu (Laura) Luc and James J. Zhangd

aDepartment of Sport Management, Wellness & Physical Education, University of West Georgia, Carrollton,
GA, USA; bDepartment of Psychology, Murray State University, Murray, KY, USA; cDepartment of Educational
Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA; dDepartment of Kinesiology, University of Georgia,
Athens, GA, USA

Research questions: The current study is aimed at providing
preliminary answers to two research questions: (1) What salient
self-images do people pursue for self-expression in the context of
sport participation? (2) To what extent does participant desired
self-image (PDSI) influence consumer behavior?
Research methods: In Phase 1 of the study, a comprehensive
review of literature, two focus groups, and an open-ended survey
(N = 113) were conducted to generate the initial pool of self-
images. In Phase 2, an exploratory factor analysis using online
survey data (N = 370) was conducted to explore the underlying
factor structure of PDSI. In Phase 3, a confirmatory factor analysis
and a structural equation modeling analysis using online survey
data (N = 483) were conducted to validate the proposed PDSI
scale and test the influence of PDSI on consumer behavior.
Results and findings: A PDSI measurement scale was developed
and validated, resulting in 19 desired self-images under three
dimensions: inner self-merit, lifestyle pursuance, and social self-
presentation. Findings of the structural relationship model
revealed that PDSI influenced personal involvement, money
expenditure, and time expenditure.
Implications: This study preliminarily unearthed salient items in PDSI,
highlighted the symbolic nature of sport activities, and demonstrated
the importance of PSDI in sport participation. These findings provided
implications for practitioners to accommodate PDSI through long-
term and integrated marketing efforts and shed a light on studies
in branding, community sport, and public health.

Received 5 December 2016
Accepted 21 February 2018

Participant desired self-
image; self-expression; self-
branding; sport participation

Consumption is driven not only by the functional and emotional values that a product
offers but also by the symbolic meanings derived from that product (Holt & Cameron,
2010; Levy, 1959). These non-functional symbolic meanings serve as salient and struc-
tured language to express consumers’ self-image in contemporary society (Baudrillard,
1998; O’Cass & McEwen, 2004; Wattanasuwan, 2005). As noted by Swann (1983), effective
symbols need to possess three features: being noticeable by others, being able to evoke
certain specifiable reactions from others, and being able to be controlled by individuals.

© 2018 European Association for Sport Management

CONTACT Jerred Junqi Wang [email protected] Department of Sport Management, Wellness & Physical Edu-
cation, University of West Georgia, 1601 Maple Street, Coliseum 2033, Carrollton, GA 30118, USA

2018, VOL. 18, NO. 5, 583–606

Given that regular sport participation displays these features, it increasingly serves as one
of the effective tools for self-expression in various social occasions (Kirkcaldy, Shephard, &
Siefen, 2002; Scheerder, Vanreusel, & Taks, 2005; Slutzky & Simpkins, 2009). The explora-
tion of participant desired self-image (PDSI) could shed some light on utilizing symbolic
meanings to promote sport participation and on understanding its interrelatedness and
co-functions with branding, social development, and public health.

Sport marketing studies have begun to explore the symbolic consumption of sport pro-
ducts, including but not limited to various forms of participatory activities, sporting goods,
spectator sports, and media programming. Two research streams have emerged in the past
decade. One has focused on the match-up effect of self-product symbolic congruity (e.g.
Kang, 2002; Kwak & Kang, 2009; Sirgy, Lee, Johar, & Tidwell, 2008), finding that high con-
gruity between self and product image promotes consumer behavioral outcomes (Birdwell,
1968; Sirgy, 1982, 1986). The other has focused on the brand meanings of sport products,
such as brand personality of sport events (e.g. Lee & Cho, 2012), brand personality of sport
teams (e.g. Braunstein & Ross, 2010; Heere, 2010; Ross, 2008), and athlete brand image
(e.g. Arai, Ko, & Kaplanidou, 2013; Braunstein & Zhang, 2005; Carlson & Donavan,
2013). Both research streams have highlighted the key role of sport symbolic consumption;
however, they have either focused on the match-up effect in the abstract image (e.g. ideal/
actual self-image) or overlooked the actual desires of sport participants. As a result, the
self-images that are highly desired in sport participation remain unknown. Given that
identifying effective product components serves as a preliminary and fundamental step
to further improve production and delivery (Zhang, 2015), the current study sought to
develop a measurement scale to identify salient desired self-images in sport participation
and empirically assess the influence of PDSI on consumer behavior.

Review of literature

Symbolic consumption of sport participation

Symbolic value of sport participation
As an antecedent of consumer purchasing behavior, product value constitutes the foun-
dation of all marketing activities (Holbrook, 1994). Despite being somewhat diverse, scho-
larly perspectives on product value have largely fallen into three areas: functional
(utilitarian) value, symbolic value, and hedonic (experiential) value. As summarized in
Table 1, functional value refers to the objective and instrumental usefulness of product
attributes (e.g. durability, quantity, and sturdiness) that can solve practical and task-
related problems (Bhat & Reddy, 1998; Mathews, Ambroise, & Brignier, 2009; Park,
Jaworski, & Maclnnis, 1986; Smith & Colgate, 2007). Scholars have drawn the conceptual
line between hedonic and symbolic value in two primary ways. One research stream con-
ceptualizes symbolic value as a component of hedonic value because both are intangible
and subject to personal interpretation (e.g. Hirschman & Holbrook, 1982). Another
research stream, consisting primarily of branding studies, further separates symbolic
value from the hedonic category and considers it an independent dimension of product
value (e.g. Keller, 1993; Mathews et al., 2009; Park et al., 1986; Smith & Colgate, 2007).
Specifically, hedonic value emphasizes intrinsic product attributes that have multi-sensory
and affective benefits (e.g. pleasure, emotion, and feeling stimulation), whereas symbolic

584 J. J. WANG ET AL.

value involves extrinsic social meanings that people attach to products to fulfill their per-
sonal and social needs (e.g. self-expression and outer-directed self-esteem) (Keller, 1993;
Park et al., 1986; Smith & Colgate, 2007).

Generally, effective symbols possess at least three characteristics: being noticeable by
others, being able to evoke certain specifiable reactions from others, and being able to
be controlled by individuals (Swann, 1983). Nowadays, sport participation continues to
garner tremendous consumer attention, as evidenced by all-pervasive sport products
and increasingly health-conscious sport participants around the world. For example,
41% of European Union citizens (European Commission, 2014), 56% of the US

Table 1. Summarized literature on understanding the dimension of product value.
Author Dimensions Conceptualization

Bhat and Reddy (1998) Functional value Related to specific and practical consumption

Symbolic value Related to self-image and social identification
Hirschman and Holbrook (1982) Utilitarian value Tangible benefits of goods and services

Hedonic value Multi-sensory, fantasy, and emotive aspects of
one’s experience with products

Keller (1993) Functional benefits Intrinsic advantages of product or service
consumption; usually correspond to product-
related attributes

Experiential benefits Feelings associated with using a product or
service; usually correspond to product-
related attributes;

Symbolic benefits Related to underlying needs for social approval
or personal expression and outer-directed
self-esteem; extrinsic advantages of product
or service consumption; usually correspond
to non-product-related attributes

Levy (1959) Functional value What products can do
Symbolic value What products mean

Mathews, Ambroise, and Brignier (2009) Utilitarian value Instrumental (functional, task-related) and
related to cognitive evaluation; linked to the
notion of product performance and

Hedonic value Subjective and emotional; related more to fun
and entertainment than to task completion

Symbolic value Less product-related than hedonic benefits;
includes self-expression, social approval, and

Park, Jaworski, and Maclnnis (1986) Functional needs Needs for products that solve consumption-
related issues

Symbolic needs Desires for products that fulfill internally
generated needs for self-enhancement, role
position, group membership, or ego

Experiential needs Desires for products that provide sensory
pleasure, variety, and/or cognitive

Smith and Colgate (2007) Functional/
instrumental value

The extent to which a product (good or service)
has desired characteristics, is useful, or
performs a desired function


The extent to which a product creates
appropriate experiences, feelings, and
emotions for the customer


The extent to which customers attach or
associate psychological meaning to a product

Cost/sacrifice value The extent to which customers minimize the
costs and other sacrifices involved in the
purchase, ownership, and use of a product


population above the age of 6 (Physical Activity Council, 2016), and 60% of Australians
above the age of 15 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015) regularly participate in sport
activities. Oftentimes, sport activities communicate positive, neutral, or even negative
symbolic meanings that are shaped by activities’ characteristics, mass media, and mar-
keting activities. Through sport participation, consumers build associations with par-
ticular sport activities, often transferring the meaning of those objects to themselves
(Gwinner & Eaton, 1999). The tie strength in those symbolic associations could be par-
tially controlled by consumer willingness, such as invested money and exposure inten-
sity. This positive construability at the micro level could reduce the risks of using
symbolic products in self-expression (e.g. unpredictable time, meanings, strengths,
and costs) and allow participants to be more accurate in building and maintaining con-
nections with sport activities. Thus, it is reasonable to speculate that participation in
sport activities generates symbolic value and could be utilized to express self-image
(or self-concept), namely ‘the totality of the individual’s thoughts and feelings having
reference to himself as an object’ (Rosenberg, 1979, p. 7).

According to Baudrillard (1998), consumer needs and wants in commercialized
society have three features: (1) being unlimited due to a limitless promotion generated
by the urban concentration, (2) being ongoing caused by the continuity of social com-
petition, and (3) being systematic as the response to the entire cultural system. As a
manifestation of consumer needs and wants, sport symbolic consumption for self-
expression therefore is a longstanding and systematic process that involves both
passive and active components. At the macro level, mass media and dominant
brands code the commonly-shared symbolic meanings of sport activities (e.g. conspicu-
ousness and valence), foster consumer demand for various symbolic meanings, and
influence the way individuals consume these sport activities (Baudrillard, 1998; Lee,
1990). On this basis, the pursuit of self-expression through sport participation is
increasingly controlled by the market, which leads to the reliance on market forces to
navigate the system of objects. At the micro level, consumers show the initiative to
build, maintain, or dissociate their connections with sport activities based on self-
characteristics (e.g. genetic predispositions, learning history, personal goals, and inter-
ests) and specific social environment (Cialdini et al., 1976; Elliott, 1999; Escalas &
Bettman, 2003; Fournier, 1998; Hofmann, Strack, & Deutsch, 2008; Hogg, 1998). To
achieve the desired state, consumers would constantly scan the social environment to
identify potential target objects (Grubb & Grathwohl, 1967), strategically and integra-
tively utilize the meanings of these objects (Baudrillard, 1998; Thompson & Loveland,
2015), and continuously self-examine their own consumption practices (Piacentini &
Mailer, 2004). Therefore, sport symbolic consumption for self-expression is not discrete
or isolated behavior. Rather, through the initiation, continuation, and advancement of
an agenda for individuals to be ‘well’ or ‘healthy’, people are likely to consume an
ongoing stream of sport activities and related products to achieve their desired self-images.

Antecedents of sport symbolic consumption

Self-verification tendency
People tend to gravitate toward familiar, stable, and predictable things to reduce uncer-
tainty and maintain a knowable and reliable social environment (Swann, 1983, 1990).

586 J. J. WANG ET AL.

Most often, people adopt one of two common self-verification strategies. One is to find
opportunities to create a self-confirmatory social environment using signs and symbols,
selective interaction, and interpersonal prompts. In the context of sport participation,
individuals can confirm their self-image by using the social image of sport activities and
interacting with other participants. The other strategy is to look for more self-confirma-
tory evidence than actually exists, primarily through intrapersonal channels such as selec-
tive attention, selective encoding and retrieval, and selective interoperation (Swann, 1983,
1990). For instance, people can selectively participate in certain sport activities or selec-
tively construct the meaning of sport participation. Through both of an actual social
environment and a subjective intrapersonal mentality, individuals construct social
images to confirm their self-concept in everyday life (Lecky, 1945).

Self-enhancement tendency
Self-enhancement refers to one’s motivation to increase feelings of personal worth, gain
social approval, and maximize positive feedback from others (Epstein, 1983; Escalas &
Bettman, 2003; Schlenker, 1980). According to the self-concept enhancement tactician
(SCENT) model (Sedikides & Strube, 1997), self-enhancement strategies usually fall on
the spectrum between candid and tactical. Candid self-enhancement refers to overt
expressions of self-superiority; in contrast, tactical self-enhancement consists of subtler
expressions of self-love, taking into consideration long-term repercussions and situational,
social, and societal constraints. Compared with candid self-enhancement, which is likely
to lead to negative consequences such as unfavorable impressions, mockery, or social
exclusion, tactical self-enhancement is more acceptable and persistent in socialization
(Sedikides, Gaertner, & Toguchi, 2003). Given that various sport activities carry plentiful
symbols that are consistent with contemporary social norms, sport participation is likely
to be an ideal channel for tactical self-enhancement. For example, in the social context of
North America, playing golf can be an option for an up-scale image that elevates one’s
social status; boxing can indirectly satisfy one’s desire for an image of toughness; and
jogging can provide an image of healthy lifestyle.

Social environment
According to the social learning theory (Bandura, 1977, 1989), cognitive development is
influenced by social agents who disseminate norms, attitudes, motivations, and beha-
viors to the learner (e.g. parents, significant others, peers, and mass media). Specifically,
human beliefs, desires, and behavior are developed and modified by social agents
through modeling and reinforcement (Bandura, 1977, 1989; Moschis & Churchill,
1978). The process of modeling requires vicarious learning. This capability allows
humans to use deliberate or inadvertent observation, rather than direct involvement
or participation, to understand and manage environment stimuli. Through this observa-
tional learning and modeling of heightened behavior that is portrayed symbolically
through various social agents, individuals garner tremendous multiplicative power for
acquiring new knowledge (Bandura, 1989). Reinforcement refers to the ways in
which behavior is either rewarded or punished. External reinforcement primarily
comes from social agents, while intrinsic reinforcement occurs through one’s internal
value system (e.g. pride, satisfaction, and sense of accomplishment) (Bandura, 1977).
Both reinforcement mechanisms guide individuals to learn which self-images are


acceptable or unacceptable in their social environment, further encouraging or discoura-
ging them to acquire such self-images. Mechanisms of both modeling and reinforce-
ment underscore the importance of social influences (e.g. media, brands, and value
system) in shaping people’s ongoing symbolic consumption and highlight the systematic
nature of building and maintaining self-image in daily consumption.

Desired self-images in sport participation

In sport marketing, studies about symbolic consumption have followed one of two primary
streams. The first stream is grounded in self-congruity research (Birdwell, 1968; Sirgy, 1982,
1986), primarily examining the match-up effect of consumer self-image and product/brand
user-image on purchase behavior. According to these studies, the higher the congruity
between consumer self-image and typical user-image of a given product, the greater purchase
intention a consumer will have. In the past decade, scholars have examined this theoretical
proposition in multiple sport settings. Using two experimental studies, Kang (2002) assessed
the validity of the self-congruity effect in ski participation. Findings showed that when the
user-image of skiing matched actual self-image (i.e. the characteristics that someone believes
he or she actually possesses) and ideal self-image (i.e. characteristics that someone ideally
would like to possess), consumers were likely to have a higher purchase intention. Kwak
and Kang (2009) further examined the effect of self-congruity on the purchase of sport-
related products. The results indicated that the match-up between self-image (both actual
and ideal) and typical user-image of sport products increased perceived quality and purchase
intention. In addition, Sirgy et al. (2008) showed that the congruity between self-image and
event image increased consumer loyalty toward brands sponsoring a sport event.

This research stream has illustrated the importance of overall self-image in sport con-
sumption; however, existing studies have hardly investigated the specific self-images that
consumers pursue through sport participation. For example, the finding that ideal self-
event congruity played a significant role in promoting event participation has not
helped practitioners understand ‘what area needs improvement and how such improve-
ment can be made’ to frame the congruity (Zhang, 2015, p. 4). To capitalize on the
match-up effect of symbolic meanings between consumers and products, marketers
need first to figure out one party’s symbolic desires and then frame the other party to
help build construct fit. Considering the foundational role of consumers in the market-
place, the desired self-images of sport participants should be identified first to maximize
the positive effect of self-product congruity.

The other research stream has emerged from brand image/personality studies exploring
the symbolic meanings of sport products (e.g. events, teams, and athletes). By portraying
brands and products as having non-functional human characteristics, marketers can
enhance the favorability of brand image (Phau & Lau, 2001), increase levels of trust
and loyalty (Fournier, 1998), and provide a basis for product differentiation (Aaker,
1996). Considering these favorable impacts, multiple sport marketing scholars have
made attempts to explore the underlying symbols of sport products. Given the various
sources of influence and the different valences of sport brand traits (Lee & Cho, 2009),
general symbolic scales, such as the brand personality scale of Aaker (1997), do not seam-
lessly fit sport settings (Braunstein & Ross, 2010; Heere, 2010; Lee & Cho, 2009; Ross,
2008). Therefore, various symbolic scales for sport products have been developed,

588 J. J. WANG ET AL.

including sport event personality scales (e.g. Lee & Cho, 2012), sport team personality
scales (e.g. Braunstein & Ross, 2010; Heere, 2010; Ross, 2008), and athletic image scales
(e.g. Arai et al., 2013; Braunstein & Zhang, 2005; Carlson & Donavan, 2013).

Candidate image, personality, and underlying factor structures in the aforementioned
studies have laid a solid foundation for investigating the symbolic meanings of sport
brands; however, this research stream has largely overlooked the active role in acquiring
symbolic meanings and rarely explored the characteristics that consumers desire. Conse-
quently, identified characteristics of sport products might not always match what consu-
mers actually seek. For example, an individual may understand the nature of boxing but
may not be a fan of the sport. This individual could accurately characterize boxing as
having a high level of aggressiveness and physicality but would not seek out those traits
for his or her self-image. Even a fan of boxing might not appreciate all of the images associ-
ated with boxing. The logic of these examples also applies to other sport-related product
categories, such as sport events, athletes, and equipment.

In brief, the strengths and limitations of both research streams discussed above signify
the importance of exploring desired self-images in sport participation. A sound measure-
ment scale of PDSI would provide marketers with references for determining what sport
symbolic meanings are favored by sport participants. This information would be valuable
for marketers to increase sport participants’ consumption intention and enhance the effec-
tiveness and efficiency of marketing promotions.

PDSI and consumer behavior

According to the model of motivation process (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2004), unfulfilled
needs, wants, and desires in their continuum arouse psychological tension, which is an
unpleasant psychosocial state or feeling. This psychological tension drives consumers to
seek outside stimuli, and consumption behavior is likely to follow if they perceive that a
product stimulus is likely to satisfy their unfulfilled desires through reinforced provision.
Based on this motivation process, Funk (2008) further proposed the sport and event con-
sumer motivation process, modified to accommodate sport settings (e.g. separating the
needs domain from the wants domain). Two overarching prerequisites of positive consu-
mer behavior were acknowledged in both models: (a) consumers have unfulfilled needs,
wants, and desires, and (b) stimuli can satisfy these needs, wants, and desires. That is, posi-
tive consumer behavior is likely to occur when individuals perceive that sport participation
might fulfill their symbolic desires.

Due to the rich symbolism of participatory sport products, including leisure and phys-
ical activities (Dimanche & Samdahl, 1994; Kang, 2002; Kirkcaldy et al., 2002), sport
events (Funk, Toohey, & Bruun, 2007; Kaplanidou & Gibson, 2012), and derivative
sport equipment and apparel (Kwak & Kang, 2009), a sufficient supply of symbolic mean-
ings in sport participation, at least at an aggregate level, is likely to exist. In this way, one of
the two prerequisites of consumption has been confirmed. Therefore, a high level of PDSI
would lead to positive consumer behavior.

Among the key constructs for assessing consumer behavior, personal involvement and
actual consumption are two commonly used measures. Personal involvement is an indi-
vidual’s perceived relevance of a marketing stimulus, a perception driven by inherent
needs, values, and interests (Mittal, 1995; Zaichkowsky, 1985), including both enduring


(long-term and stable) and situational (temporary and changeable) involvement (Havitz &
Mannell, 2005; Houston & Rothschild, 1978). As this study was focused on people’s long-
term sport participation, personal involvement here would fall toward the end of enduring
tendency. Personal involvement has been widely adopted to examine symbolic consump-
tion in various industries, such as music (e.g. Larsen, Lawson, & Todd, 2010), fashion
(Auty & Elliott, 1998; Banister & Hogg, 2004), leisure (Kyle, Graefe, Manning, &
Bacon, 2003; Schouten & McAlexander, 1995), and tourism (e.g. Ekinci, Sirakaya-Turk,
& Preciado, 2013; Gross & Brown, 2006). Personal involvement in sport represents the
perceived interest and importance of sport to an individual (Shank & Beasley, 1998).
Building upon the personal involvement inventory (PII) of Zaichkowsky (1985), Shank
and Beasley (1998) developed a widely-adopted sport involvement inventory that includes
eight semantic differential items to accommodate the sport consumption setting (e.g. Ko,
Kim, Claussen, & Kim, 2008; Koernig & Boyd, 2009; McGehee, Yoon, & Cárdenas, 2003).
The majority of marketing practices aim to promote purchase behavior. Among the
various measures of sport consumption (e.g. money, time, word-of-mouth, and TV view-
ership), money and time expenditure are directly measurable, are tied to sport partici-
pation, and have been widely used in previous studies (e.g. Lera-López & Rapún-
Gárate, 2007; Taks, Renson, & Vanreusel, 1994). Based on the above discussion, the fol-
lowing three hypotheses were proposed and tested in this study:

H1: PDSI would positively impact personal involvement in sport participation.

H2: PDSI would positively impact money expenditure in sport participation.

H3: PDSI would positively impact time expenditure in sport participation.

In addition, the hierarchy of effects model by Lavidge and Steiner (1961) suggests that con-
sumer responses evoked by marketing stimulation move hierarchically through four stages:
cognitive, affective, conative, and behavioral. As implied by its definition, personal involvement
is a subjective and attitudinal construct in the domain of affection and therefore, is supposed to
take place prior to actual consumption behavior. This relationship has been supported by a
number of empirical studies in sport marketing (e.g. Ko et al., 2008; Koernig & Boyd, 2009;
McGehee et al., 2003). Accordingly, the following hypotheses were proposed and tested:

H4: Personal involvement would positively impact money expenditure in sport participation.

H5: Personal involvement would positively impact time expenditure in sport participation.

Together, all five hypotheses constitute a relationship model (Figure 1) for examining
the nomological validity of the proposed PDSI measurement tool and discovering how and
to what extent PDSI influences sport consumer behavior.

Method and results

Phase 1: generating the initial pool of desired self-images

based on two considerations. First, although the topic of self-image has been covered in the
general literature, no systematic study was found to identify salient desired self-images of

590 J. J. WANG ET AL.

sport participants and the factor structure of these self-images. It might be unfeasible to con-
ceptualize a priori schema about PDSI dimensionalities through the literature review.
Second, a data-driven approach has been widely adopted when exploring the salient
brand characteristics of sport products, such as sport team personality (e.g. Braunstein &
Ross, 2010; Heere, 2010), sport event personality (e.g. Lee & Cho, 2012), athlete images
(e.g. Braunstein & Zhang, 2005), and destination images (e.g. Hosany, Ekinci, & Uysal,
2006; Kaplan, Yurt, Guneri, & Kurtulus, 2010). As the pursuance of desired self-images
through sport participation could be considered a way of self-branding (i.e. individuals
develop and promote the characteristics they most desire for themselves), starting the ana-
lyses with data-driven approach fits the current research context and reasoning process.
Third, the data-driven approach (an inductive reasoning process) provides an open-
minded perspective as a starting point to comprehensively explore the statistical dimension-
ality of PDSI in the context of sport participation. The findings could serve as an empirical
foundation to support future investigations by using a deductive approach.

Phase 1 generated candidate items of PDSI via a qualitative approach. Two screening
criteria were set to choose appropriate self-images in sport participation: (a) each charac-
teristic should be derived from the context of sport, and (b) the description of each charac-
teristic should express an individual’s self-image. Overall, Phase 1 consisted of four steps.
First, a comprehensive review of literature was conducted in the areas of human person-
ality, brand image/personality, athlete brand image, event personality, and motives in
sport consumption. Second, two focus groups of four people were organized to assess
whether PDSI existed in sport participation. Research respondents included students at
undergraduate and graduate levels and faculty members who were affiliated with a large
public university in the United States and also professionals who were sport consumers.
Specifically, each focus group was conducted according to the following procedure:

Figure 1. Proposed relationship model.
Notes: PDSI = Participant desired self-image, INV = Personal involvement, Money = Monetary expenditure, Time = Time


(1) the primary investigator introduced the purpose and topic of the focus group study; (2)
the primary investigator explained the concept of PDSI and used two specific examples
(i.e. participation in golf and purchase of newly released running shoes) to help respon-
dents understand its meaning; (3) respondents were asked whether they had pursued
desired self-images in reality; and (4) if they had, they were asked to share these experi-
ences and provide their perceptions of relevant images. Third, to supplement the pool
of desired self-images generated from the literature review, an open-ended PDSI survey
was conducted. Respondents were asked to list in written form at least 10 desired self-
images meeting the two criteria mentioned above. Fourth, all generated self-images
were sent to a panel of four experts (i.e. two professors, one practitioner, and one doctoral
student in sport marketing) for a content validity test, in which all self-image items were
evaluated based on the above-mentioned screening criteria to reduce inaccuracy and
redundancy of expressions.

The qualitative research process produced 82 self-images. Respondents in the two focus
groups helped confirm the presence of desired self-images in sport participation, either
by succinctly expressing their desires or by recalling actual experiences. Additionally, a
total of 113 respondents in the United States filled out the open-ended survey over a
span of one week through Amazon Mechanical Turk, which yielded another list of 107
self-images. Altogether, 189 candidate self-images were shown to the panel of experts
for a test of content validity. Based on their feedback, 83 self-images were dropped due
to overlap with other images, unclear expressions, or irrelevance. The final pool contained
106 self-images without redundancy. The wording of the items was also improved based
on the feedback provided by the panel members.

Phase 2: initial exploratory factor analysis

An online questionnaire designed using Qualtrics included three sections preliminary
PDSI items, sport participation, and socio-demographics. For the PDSI section, the follow-
ing question was presented: ‘to what extent do you desire to obtain the following images
from participating in the sport you indicated?’ Respondents were asked to rate the 106
candidate self-images on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = ‘absolutely no desire for this image’
to 5 = ‘extremely high desire for this image’). To avoid the order effect in filling out ques-
tionnaires, the 106 self-images were set to be listed in a random order. In the current study,
self-images with a mean value in the top 40% range of the 5-point scale (i.e. larger than 3.4)
were considered highly desired and were further analyzed in subsequent data analysis. To
measure sport participation, respondents were asked to identify one sport activity in which
they had most frequently participated (at least once per month). For sample description
purpose, respondents were asked to provide demographic information about gender,
age, ethnicity, household income, and education level.

A total of 413 online questionnaires were collected in three weeks through Amazon
Mechanical Turk, which has been widely adopted as an effective data collection method
in behavioral and psychological research (Buhrmester, Kwang, & Gosling, 2011; Chandler,
Mueller, & Paolacci, 2014; Paolacci & Chandler, 2014). Excluding 43 questionnaires due to

592 J. J. WANG ET AL.

a severe rate of missing items (i.e. over 30%) or failure in the attention check questions,
valid data from 370 respondents in the United States were included in subsequent ana-
lyses. Table 2 presents the socio-demographic information of the respondents and
Table 3 lists major sport activities that survey respondents had most frequently partici-
pated. Descriptive statistics for socio-demographics and desired self-images were calcu-
lated using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 19.0. An exploratory factor
analysis (EFA) was conducted using Mplus 7.0. To determine the number of extracted
factors, both parallel analysis and traditional approach (i.e. using eigenvalue, explained
variance, and scree plot) were considered (Hair, Black, Babin, & Anderson, 2010;
Hayton, Allen, & Scarpello, 2004). The following criteria were used to determine the
final list of items: (a) each item had a factor loading equal to or greater than .50
without severe cross-loading (i.e. the difference between two loading values is less than
.40), (b) each factor was interpretable, (c) each loaded item on a factor was interpretable,
and (d) each factor had at least three items.

As shown in Table 4, 49 out of 106 candidate self-images met the criterion of being highly
desired (i.e. a mean value larger than 3.4) and were, therefore, analyzed in the EFA. The
significant Bartlett Test of Sphericity (p < .01) and the Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin statistic of
.978 indicated the appropriateness of conducting EFA with the current data.

In the parallel analysis, three factors’ eigenvalues from sample correlation matrix were
larger than their eigenvalues obtained from the parallel analysis (see Table 4), suggesting
that these three factors should be retained. However, given that the retained items should
have a factor loading equal to or greater than .50 and without severe cross-loading, the

Table 2. Socio-demographic information of respondents in Phase 2 (N = 370).
Variable Category N %

Gender Male 226 61.1
Female 144 38.9

Age 18–25 73 19.7
26–35 150 40.5
36–45 71 19.2
46–55 55 14.9
56 and above 21 5.7

Ethnicity African American 24 6.5
American Indian 3 0.8
Asian 29 7.8
Caucasian 282 76.2
Hispanic 25 6.8
Other 7 1.9

Household income Below $20,000 45 12.2
$20,000–39,999 86 23.2
$40,000–59,999 65 17.6
$60,000–79,999 64 17.3
$80,000–99,999 55 14.9
$100,000–149,999 41 11.1
$150,000–199,999 9 2.4
Above $200,000 5 1.4

Education In high school now 2 0.5
High school graduate 62 16.8
In college now 47 12.7
College graduate 186 50.3
Advanced degree 66 17.8
Other 7 1.9


EFA with parallel analysis produced only one latent factor. The measurement literature indi-
cates that a parallel analysis may at times lead to under-factoring if there is (a) a high corre-
lation between factors, (b) a large number of variables, or (c) a primary factor with a large
eigenvalue (Hayton et al., 2004; Mulaik, 2009; Turner, 1998). All of these three situations
occurred in the current situation. Thus, the traditional approach was deemed more appropriate
and was thus adopted, which produced four latent factors, with a total of 63.52% variance
explained. The extracted factor matrix was further rotated using the Geomin rotation tech-
nique. Following the aforementioned criteria of retaining items, the fourth factor was
removed due to severe double loading of its items. Three factors, with a total of 21 items
were retained (Table 4), explained 60.77% of the total variance. The factors were labeled as
inner self-merit (11 items), lifestyle pursuance (3 items), and social self-presentation
(7 items). Although these three PDSI dimensions all fall under the overarching domain of
socialization, they are clearly distinct. The dimension of inner self-merit emphasizes funda-
mental human needs (e.g. mental health and sound personality) that are not necessarily
involved in interpersonal relationships. In contrast, items under the dimension of social
self-expression are more advanced and rely heavily on the existence of interpersonal relation-
ships to be meaningful. Differing from the first two dimensions, which are strongly tied to tra-
ditional sport images, lifestyle pursuance contains items that are more relevant to recreation,
leisure, and health, highlighting the well-being of sport participants.

Phase 3: confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling

A new online questionnaire was designed using Qualtrics. In addition to the retained PDSI
items, sport participation items, and socio-demographic items, the questionnaire included

Table 3. Major sport activities that survey respondents had most frequently participated.

Sport activities

Survey respondents in Phase
2 (N = 370)

Survey respondents in Phase 3
(N = 483)

N % N %

Badminton 4 1.1 5 1.0
Baseball 14 3.8 12 2.5
Basketball 83 22.4 101 20.9
Bowling 8 2.2 5 1.0
Boxing 4 1.1 3 0.6
Cycling 8 2.2 9 1.9
Football 22 5.9 29 6.0
Frisbee 2 0.5 3 0.6
Golf 23 6.2 22 4.6
Hiking 2 0.5 5 1.0
Hockey 7 1.9 5 1.0
Kickball 2 0.5 5 1.0
Martial arts 2 0.5 4 0.8
Racquetball 3 0.8 2 0.4
Running/Jogging 35 9.5 47 9.7
Soccer 27 7.3 55 11.4
Softball 25 6.8 26 5.4
Swimming 7 1.9 8 1.7
Tennis 26 7.0 47 9.7
Volleyball 20 5.4 28 5.8
Walking 4 1.1 3 0.6
Weight lifting 12 3.2 8 1.7
Yoga 2 0.5 5 1.0

594 J. J. WANG ET AL.

items to measure sport consumption behavior (e.g. personal involvement, money expen-
diture, and time expenditure). The sport involvement inventory used in previous sport
marketing studies (e.g. Ko et al., 2008; Koernig & Boyd, 2009; McGehee et al., 2003;
Shank & Beasley, 1998) was modified to include seven of the original eight semantic
differential items (i.e. boring–exciting, uninteresting–interesting, worthless–valuable,

Table 4. Results of exploratory factor analysis in phase 2 (N = 370).
Desired self-image Mean SD Factor 1 ISM Factor 2 LP Factor 3 SSP

Enjoying life 4.07 1.03 .090 .759* −.017
Being athletic 4.04 1.04 .123 .438* .004
Being health-conscious 3.99 1.04 .192* .693* .047
Being physical fit 3.99 .99 .005 .298* .472*
Being confident 3.92 1.01 .735* .016 −.033
Being determined 3.88 1.07 .515* .058 .159
Being dedicated 3.85 1.06 .640* .154* −.029
Being optimistic 3.85 1.11 .698* −.066 .110
Being enthusiastic 3.84 1.12 .762* .135* −.041
Being self-motivated 3.84 1.07 .766* .081 −.066
Being skilled 3.83 1.08 .313* −.034 .255
Being capable 3.82 1.07 .580* .018 .149
Being hardworking 3.81 1.07 .676* .108* −.020
Being competitive 3.81 1.17 .060 .046 .380*
Having work-life balance 3.81 1.10 −.024 .729* .309*
Being happy 3.79 1.11 .556* .047 .121
Being cheerful 3.79 1.10 .273* .051 .475*
Being mentally strong 3.77 1.10 .660* .027 .089
Pursuing fair play 3.75 1.14 .018 −.029 .628*
Having a strong sense of teamwork 3.74 1.25 −.224* .010 .759*
Being self-disciplined 3.70 1.13 .244* .082 .516*
Being perseverant 3.68 1.11 .798* −.030 −.015
Being well-rounded 3.67 1.13 .503* .083 .254*
Having good leadership 3.66 1.08 .083 .073 .623*
Being respectable 3.66 1.16 .422* −.010 .376*
Being successful 3.65 1.18 .443* .065 .238*
Being passionate 3.65 1.15 .797* .054 −.118
Being in shape 3.64 1.18 .002 .419* .232*
Being friendly 3.63 1.17 .030 −.002 .839*
Being reliable 3.62 1.16 .556* −.161* .420*
Being quick-thinking 3.62 1.14 .283* −.012 .445*
Being down-to-earth 3.62 1.12 .474* .077 .225*
Being willing to learn 3.61 1.17 .479* .003 .380*
Being open to experience 3.60 1.14 .346* .094 .381*
Being sociable 3.59 1.14 −.090 .054 .793*
Being responsible 3.58 1.16 .585* .047 .252*
Being goal-driven 3.56 1.18 .109 .297* .429*
Being self-sufficient 3.53 1.18 .595* .027 .276*
Being tough 3.52 1.20 .360* .118* .045
Being focused 3.52 1.18 .370* −.017 .495*
Seeking excitement 3.51 1.22 .133 .190* .392*
Being supportive 3.50 1.18 .207 −.077 .676*
Being prepared 3.49 1.17 .556* −.105* .369*
Having high integrity 3.48 1.24 .476* −.062 .437*
Being versatile 3.48 1.19 .368* .016 .436*
Being spirited 3.48 1.17 .220* .117* .489*
Being fun-loving 3.47 1.20 .253* −.015 .353*
Having a good work ethic 3.46 1.16 .141 .041 .729*
Having a sound mind 3.43 1.23 .761* −.122* .093
Eigenvalues from sample correlation matrix 26.08 2.05 1.64
Eigenvalues from parallel analysis 1.78 1.70 1.64

Notes: ISM = Dimension of inner self-merit, LP = Dimension of lifestyle pursuance, SSP = Dimension of social self-presen-

*p < .05.


unappealing–appealing, useless–useful, irrelevant–relevant, and important–unimportant).
Each item was phrased on a 7-point Likert scale. Respondents were asked to estimate their
annual money expenditure and weekly time expenditure participating in their chosen
sport. Money and time expenditure were evenly anchored across 2000 dollars and 20
hours, respectively, on 10-point scales, with one additional option to capture levels in
excess of the maximum.

The online questionnaire was available through Amazon Mechanical Turk for four
weeks. Excluding problematic questionnaires with a severe rate of missing values and
failure in the attention check questions (two personal involvement items were reserve
coded), the data of 483 respondents in the United States were considered valid. Table 5 pre-
sented the socio-demographic information of these respondents, who were each rewarded
$0.71 through theAmazon Mechanical Turk system. Major sport activities that respondents
had most frequently participated are incorporated into the earlier Table 3.

Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was first conducted for the PDSI items, and struc-
tural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to assess the influence of PDSI on consumer
behavior. To examine goodness-of-fit, the following indices were employed: chi-square
(χ2), normed chi-square (χ2/df), root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA),
90% confidence interval (CI) of RMSEA, possibility of close fit (PCLOSE), comparative
fit index (CFI), Tucker–Lewis index (TLI), and standardized root means square residual
(SRMR) (Browne & Cudeck, 1993; Hair et al., 2010; Hu & Bentler, 1999; Kline, 2005).
To examine scale reliability, Cronbach’s alpha (α), construct reliability (CR), and averaged
variance extracted (AVE) were calculated. To assess construct validity, convergent validity
and discriminant validity were examined. The former was assessed using factor loadings,

Table 5. Socio-demographic information of respondents in phase 3 (N = 483).
Variable Category N %

Gender Male 252 52.2
Female 231 47.8

Age 18–25 106 21.9
26–35 206 42.7
36–45 96 19.9
46–55 53 11.0
56 and above 22 4.6

Ethnicity African American 52 10.8
American Indian 9 1.9
Asian 36 7.5
Caucasian 338 70.0
Hispanic 41 8.5
Other 7 1.4

Household income Below $20,000 55 11.4
$20,000–39,999 128 26.5
$40,000–59,999 92 19.0
$60,000–79,999 97 20.1
$80,000–99,999 56 11.6
$100,000–149,999 43 8.9
$150,000–199,999 6 1.2
Above $200,000 6 1.2

Education In high school now 1 .2
High school graduate 78 16.1
In college now 66 13.7
College graduate 252 52.2
Advanced degree 79 16.4
Other 7 1.4

596 J. J. WANG ET AL.

and the latter was evaluated by using correlations among latent factors (Kline, 2005) and
the Fornell and Larcker testing (1981). In the case where model comparison was involved,
the indices of Akaike information criterion (AIC) and Bayesian information criterion
(BIC) were used. Descriptive statistics about respondents’ socio-demographics and
desired self-images were calculated using SPSS 19.0. CFA and SEM were conducted
using Mplus 7.0 with the estimator of MLR (i.e., maximum likelihood estimation with
robust standard errors).

Results of CFA
Goodness of fit indicesof CFA were acceptable: χ2 = 587.308, p < .001; χ2/df = 587.308/186 =
3.158, RMSEA = .067 (90% CI = .061–.073), PCLOSE < .001, CFI = .918, TLI = .907, AIC =
24402.878, BIC = 24678.759, and SRMR = .056. However, two items had factor loadings well
below the suggested criterion of .70 (Hair et al., 2010): ‘image of having a sound mind’ (λ
= .519) under inner self-merit and ‘image of having a good work ethic’ (λ = .512) under
social self-presentation. Also, the mean values of these two items were 3.30 and 3.22, respect-
ively, below the cutoff criterion of 3.4. Therefore, CFA was conducted again without these
two items, producing better fit indices: χ2 = 448.127, p < .001; χ2/df = 448.127/149 = 3.008,
RMSEA = .064 (90% CI = .058–.071), PCLOSE < .001, CFI = .932, TLI = .922, AIC =
21445.434, BIC = 21696.235, and SRMR = .049. Compared with the initial CFA model, the
subsequent one had a smaller chi-square value (Δχ2 = 139.181, Δdf = 37, p < .001) and
superior fit indices. In terms of reliability, the Cronbach’s alpha, CR, and AVE values
(Table 6) of the revised PDSI model exceeded the suggested criteria: .70 for Cronbach’s
alpha, .70 for CR, and .50 for AVE (Hair et al., 2010; Kline, 2005). As shown in Table 6,
except for one item (.691), factor loadings of the PDSI items were above the suggested
value of .70 (Hair et al., 2010), indicating good convergent validity. The inter-factor corre-
lations were .803 (between inner self-merit and lifestyle pursuance), .784 (between inner
self-merit and social self-presentation), and .756 (between lifestyle pursuance and social
self-presentation), all below and then superior to the criterion of .85 (Kline, 2005). As the
results of the Fornell-Larcker testing, square root of AVEinner self-merit and AVElifestyle pursuance
were larger than the correlation between inner self-merit and lifestyle pursuance; however,
the square root of AVEsocial self-presentation was less than correlations between inner self-merit
and social self-presentation and between lifestyle pursuance and social self-presentation.
Further, the SEM models were reanalyzed with constraining three correlations to 1, respect-
ively. All of three SEM models produced fit indices that are inferior to the original ones.
Results of inter-factor correlations and the Fornell-Larcker testing together have showed an
acceptable level of discriminant validity in the measurement model.

Results of SEM
SEM with a second-order PDSI model was conducted to disclose the role of overall PDSI
in sport consumer behavior and to preliminarily examine the nomological validity of the
proposed scale (i.e. how well the target construct relates to other theoretically related con-
structs) (Churchill, 1995). The fit indices of the initial SEM with a second-order PDSI
model were acceptable: χ2 = 1071.896, p < .001; χ2/df = 1071.896/343 = 3.125, RMSEA
= .066 (90% CI = .062–.071), PCLOSE < .001, CFI = .893, TLI = .882, and SRMR = .051.
Given the superior fit indices of the PDSI model in CFA and the observability of
money and time expenditure, the relatively inferior model fit of SEM was likely due to


the measure of personal involvement. This assumption was confirmed by the results
of CFA for the measurement model of personal involvement (7 items): χ2 = 215.364,
p < .001; χ2/df = 215.364/14 = 15.383, RMSEA = .173, CFI = .775, TLI = .663, and SRMR
= .083. Based on the modification indices provided by Mplus, two problematic items
were dropped from the measurement model, largely improving the fit indices: χ2 =
27.081, p < .001; χ2/df = 27.081/5 = 5.4162, RMSEA = 0.096, CFA = .955, TLI = .911, and
SRMR = .037.

With the 5-item personal involvement scale, the model fit indices of SEM were
much better: χ2 = 715.351, p < .001; χ2/df = 715.351/292 = 2.450, RMSEA = .055 (90%
CI = .050–.060), PCLOSE = .060, CFI = .933, TLI = .925, and SRMR = .043. As shown in
Figure 2, all five hypotheses were confirmed. In terms of direct effects, PDSI positively
influenced personal involvement (β = .407, p < .01), money expenditure (β = .162,
p < .01), and time expenditure (β = .159, p < .01). Personal involvement positively influ-
enced money expenditure (β = .164, p < .01) and time expenditure (β = .147, p < .01).
In terms of indirect effects, PDSI positively influenced money expenditure (β = .067,
p < .01) and time expenditure (β = .060, p < .01) through personal involvement, signifying
that personal involvement partially mediated the relationships between PDSI and two
indices of actual consumption (Sobel, 1982). The standardized total effects of PDSI on
personal involvement, money expenditure, and time expenditure were .407 (p < .01),
.229 (p < .01), and .219 (p < .01), respectively, providing initial evidence about the nomo-
logical validity of the proposed PDSI scale.

Table 6. Mean value, standard deviation (SD), factor loadings (λ), Cronbach’s Alpha (α), construct
reliability (CR), average variance extracted (AVE) for the proposed PDSI scale in CFA (N = 483).
Factor/Item Mean SD λ α CR AVE

Inner self-merit .957 .957 .693
Being happy 3.79 1.14 .851
Being dedicated 3.88 1.11 .863
Being confident 3.91 1.12 .863
Being self-motivated 4.01 1.07 .819
Being enthusiastic 3.93 1.07 .792
Being hardworking 3.96 1.09 .841
Being passionate 3.88 1.13 .838
Being mentally strong 3.85 1.15 .838
Being perseverant 3.89 1.10 .863
Being optimistic 3.82 1.07 .747

Lifestyle pursuance .851 .854 .661
Enjoying life 4.16 1.02 .815
Having work-life balance 3.77 1.16 .780
Being health-conscious 3.93 1.06 .842

Social self-presentation .876 .876 .541
Pursuing fair play 3.68 1.21 .730
Having a strong sense of teamwork 3.71 1.29 .728
Being friendly 3.72 1.17 .756
Being sociable 3.64 1.20 .743
Having good leadership 3.56 1.19 .752
Being supportive 3.71 1.14 .691

Personal involvement .862 .866 .566
Worthless-valuable 6.13 .96 .699
Unappealing-appealing 6.17 1.17 .638
Useless-useful 5.97 1.07 .833
Irrelevant-relevant 5.95 1.04 .808
Important-unimportant 5.90 1.19 .766

598 J. J. WANG ET AL.


Through a combination of inductive and deductive investigations, Phases 1 and 2 gener-
ated a preliminary pool of 49 desired self-images. These self-images were drawn from mul-
tiple symbolic sources (e.g. sport event personality, team personality, athlete brand image,
human personality, brand image, and lifestyle, and even some unexplored symbolic
desires), suggesting that although PDSI overlaps existing symbolic constructs, it is still

The PDSI scale identified and tested in Phases 2 and 3 contains 19 self-images in three
general dimensions: inner self-merit, lifestyle pursuance, and social self-presentation.
Although 19 self-images spread across different dimensions, all of these self-images are
positive in nature, reflecting people’s self-enhancement tendency in symbolic consump-
tion of sport participation. These 19 self-images are also closely tied to people’s symbolic
desires in mentality or socialization. For most sport participants, symbolic meanings of
these self-images help construct a stable inner or social self-concept, serving the
purpose of self-verification. The identified PDSI structure can further be explained by
the attribution theory (Heider, 1958), which suggests that people have an innate tendency
to understand the causes of an event or behavior. Socialization in everyday life, including
success or failure in certain activities, drives individuals to explore, subjectively or objec-
tively, potential explanations for these outcomes, effectively activating their tendencies of
self-enhancement and/or self-verification (Kelley & Michela, 1980; Weiner, 1985). The
identified dimensionality of PDSI indicated that inner self-merit, lifestyle pursuance,
and social self-presentation factors were three major themes related to people’s attribution
pattern in self-enhancement and self-verification.

Figure 2. Results of SEM with second-order PDSI model.
Note: *p < .05, **p < .01, ISM = Dimension of inner self-merit, LP = Dimension of lifestyle pursuance, SSP = Dimension of
social self-presentation, PDSI = Participant desired self-image, INV = Personal involvement, Money = Monetary expendi-
ture, Time = Time expenditure.


Meanwhile, as suggested by the social learning theory, one’s cognition about self-image
grows out of socialization and is heavily impacted by the ideas and values that constitute
our culture and specify how that culture should be perceived (Bandura, 1977, 1989;
Baudrillard, 1998; Grubb & Grathwohl, 1967). Therefore, at the macro level, desired
self-images in sport participation are shaped by social agents and value systems in which
consumers are situated. In the current study, the identified 19 self-images were favored
across different geographic locations, genders, and ethnic groups, and were encouraged
by various social agents (e.g. mass media, opinion leaders, and religious resources), especially
the inner self-merit and social self-presentation items. In contrast, lifestyle pursuance,
though not so popular until recent decades, had the highest mean value, signifying its sal-
ience and attractiveness in PDSI. This finding echoes previous studies that have identified
the need for flexible and individualized lifestyles among sport participants (e.g. Horne,
2011; Lera-López & Rapún-Gárate, 2007; Wheaton, 2004).

The desired self-images identified in the PDSI scale confirmed the symbolic value of
sport activities, especially serving as sophisticated social language to express participants’
needs and wants in inner self-presentation, lifestyle pursuance, and social self-presen-
tation. More importantly, the factor structure in the scale has provided a basic framework
to further explore participants’ abstract needs, wants, and desires in sport symbolic con-
sumption. In today’s sport industry, the supply parties (e.g. participatory event organizers
and service providers) are still prominent and influential in creating sport demand at the
macro level; even so, the demand party (i.e. sport participants) with more advanced media
technologies and richer consumption choices plays an increasingly active and salient role
at the micro level of marketing practice. The unremitting spectrum of consumer needs,
wants, and desires associated with participating in sport activities deserve to be frequently
analyzed, monitored, and integrated into service provisions and promotional activities.

Phase 3 also identified positive relationships between overall PDSI and other key con-
structs in consumer behavior, preliminarily confirming the nomological validity of the
proposed PDSI scale. Additionally, PDSI was tied more to personal involvement (β
= .407, p < .01) than to actual money (β = .162, p < .01) and time (β = .159, p < .01) expen-
diture. According to the hierarchy of effects model of Lavidge and Steiner (1961), consu-
mer responses evoked by marketing stimulation move hierarchically through four stages:
cognition, affection, conation, and behavior. Therefore, compared with actual consump-
tion, PDSI was more likely to impact personal involvement in the domain of affection.
These relationships have highlighted the importance of PDSI in influencing people’s
sport participation. As indicated by Baudrillard (1998), symbolic exchange escalates
with the development of urban concentration that comes with the exponential growth
of social communications. The PDSI therefore would play an increasingly important
role in driving individuals’ sport consumption.

Given the on-going and systematic nature of symbolic consumption for self-expression
(Baudrillard, 1998), sport participants would have the potentials to continually consume
sport activities and even extend their consumptions to other related products (e.g. sporting
goods, athlete/team fanship, social media, and sport tourism) to achieve self-images in
inner self-merit, social self-presentation, and/or lifestyle pursuance. The PDSI dimensions,
salient self-images, and structural relationships identified in this study have offered a pre-
liminary understanding about the nature of salient desired self-images in sport partici-
pation and would certainly shed a light on the co-functions of PDSI with branding

600 J. J. WANG ET AL.

(e.g. strengthening self-brand congruity, see Chaplin & Roedder, 2005), social develop-
ment (e.g. elevating community cohesion, see Cohen, 2001), and public health
(e.g. increasing subjective health and well-being, see Downward, Dawson, & Mills, 2016).


The current study took initial steps to unearth what salient self-images sport participants
pursue to express themselves, deepening the understanding of consumers’ abstract needs
and wants in sport symbolic consumption and advancing related motivation studies. The
resolved PDSI scale concisely captured the conceptual structure of these self-images and
identified three general dimensions in the context of sport participation, providing a mea-
surable solution for assessing salient PDSI and a basic framework to further explore sym-
bolic consumption for self-expression in different sport and social contexts. Findings of
this study helped confirm the salient symbolism of sport participation and reiterate the
importance of PDSI in sport participation; likely, these have also shed a light on consu-
mers’ information processing in other related consumption contexts such as tourism,
recreation, and social media.

Although constructing symbolic meanings is an abstract, complicated, and even
mythological endeavor (Holt, 2004; Holt & Cameron, 2010), previous studies have high-
lighted a few indirect approaches in management innovations such as launching a cultural
studio (see Holt & Cameron, 2010) and marketing efforts such as product designs and re-
designs (Chuang & Ma, 2001; Crilly, Moultrie, & Clarkson, 2004), endorsement and spon-
sorship selections (Escalas & Bettman, 2009; Gwinner & Eaton, 1999), and advertising per-
suasion (Meenaghan, 1995). All of these can be reasonably put into practical perspectives.
In terms of product design, organizers of participatory events could arrange/adjust activi-
ties or services to accommodate PDSI in social self-presentation; designers of sporting
goods (e.g. apparel, accessories, and fitness equipment) may consider integrating the
elements or functions that enable consumers to pursue or exhibit healthy lifestyle
images. In terms of advertising persuasion, as the match-up between self-image and
typical user-image can trigger positive consumer behavior (Birdwell, 1968; Sirgy, 1982,
1986), the identified self-images could be highlighted in shaping the image of typical
product users in order to frame self-product congruity in advertising. Given that people
will form schemas of various objects, including their desired self-images, they tend to
process stimuli that are consistent with those stored schemas (Fiske & Pavelchak, 1986;
Stoltman, 1991). To connect with target consumers in endorsement and sponsorship
activities, the desired self-images could serve as criteria for selecting appropriate sponsees
and endorsers who carry similar symbolic images.

Limitations and future study

The limitations of the current study are noteworthy. First, the measurement of sport con-
sumption, including money and time expenditure, relied on respondents’ recall, which
might lead to some degree of inaccuracy. Future studies should develop a more accurate
measure of actual consumption. Second, this study focused on the concept of self-
expression in sport participation at an aggregated level, leaving the PDSI in different
sport contexts unexamined. Future studies should explore detailed and possible


differential PDSI in various participatory sports (e.g. individual sports, team sports, main-
stream sports, and emerging sports). Third, survey participants of the current study were
limited to North America, reducing the generalizability of research findings to other
regions. As suggested by the social learning theory, participants desired self-image and
meanings of sport activities are subject to the influence of social agents and value
systems; therefore, future studies are needed to explore sport symbolic consumption
and PDSI in various socio-demographic contexts.

Disclosure statement

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.


Daniel L. Wann http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2440-5523


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  • Abstract
  • Review of literature
    • Symbolic consumption of sport participation
      • Symbolic value of sport participation
    • Antecedents of sport symbolic consumption
      • Self-verification tendency
      • Self-enhancement tendency
      • Social environment
    • Desired self-images in sport participation
    • PDSI and consumer behavior
  • Method and results
    • Phase 1: generating the initial pool of desired self-images
      • Method
      • Results
    • Phase 2: initial exploratory factor analysis
      • Method
      • Results
    • Phase 3: confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling
      • Method
      • Results of CFA
      • Results of SEM
  • Discussion
  • Implications
  • Limitations and future study
  • Disclosure statement
  • References